Facebook has eliminated the “feeling fat” emoji from its status update options after an online petition on Change.org reached more than 16,000 signatures.
The smiley face with puffy cheeks remains, but the status has been changed to “feeling stuffed” after a group of body image activists campaigned for change, Mashable reported.
“When Facebook users set their status to ‘feeling fat,’ they are making fun of people who consider themselves to be overweight, which can include many people with eating disorders,” said the petition, set up by the Endangered Bodies advocacy group. “That is not OK. Fat is not a feeling. Fat is a natural part of our bodies, no matter their weight. And all bodies deserve to be respected and cared for.”
The petition asked Facebook to remove the status which it said promotes body-shaming and “self-destructive thoughts.”
Catherine Weingarten, who authored the petition, told the Daily Dot that the status option was insulting:
“It can trivialize people’s experiences, or encourage people to put out body-negative ideas and have other people validate that. Fatness isn’t a feeling, it’s something on the outside; it’s an insult. A feeling should be something more internal.”
Facebook initially defended having “feeling fat” as a preset option in status updates in a statement to People magazine over the weekend:
“People use Facebook to share their feelings with friends and support each other. One option we give people to express themselves is to add a feeling to their posts. You can choose from over 100 feelings we offer based on people’s input or create your own.”
“We’ve heard from our community that listing ‘feeling fat’ as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders. So we’re going to remove ‘feeling fat’ from the list of options. We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we think about ways to help people express themselves on Facebook.”
Facebook works with the National Eating Disorders Association to help people with eating disorders. It also provides resources to users concerned that a friend may have eating disorders.
The video also took aim at the “feeling ugly” option, but that still appears in the preset dropdown menu on Facebook.
Do you think “feeling fat” is an insulting Facebook status? Watch the video that accompanied the petition, and leave a comment below