Digital Backlash Gets Facebook To Remove ‘Feeling Fat’ Emoticon
Facebook has removed the ‘feeling fat’ emoticon after the repercussion of this very smiley, as the activists considered it a digital body-shaming. The campaign from anti-body-shaming group Endangered Bodies forced the social network to banish the emoticon for users in status updates.
If you use Facebook then you will be aware of all those emoticons which are used by users to represent their feelings. The icons used for emoticons intend to give a visual representation of a user’s emotional state. One of those emoticons present in the status menu of the Facebook was “feeling fat,” which appeared to be a sort of smiling and puffed-up cheeks icon.
Campaigners claimed that “feeling fat” doesn’t simply mean that the person is regretting for his overweight, this emoticon can represent many other terrible notions of user’s head. This is what Michelle from The Fat Nutritionist writes in her blog about “feeling fat”:
It means feeling shitty about myself. Feeling undesirable. Not liking the way I look. Feeling socially anxious. Feeling like I am not welcome, and do not belong in this world. Sometimes, it’s feeling physically unfit, and like my eating is very disorganized and chaotic.
You can imagine how bad it will make you feel if your body form becomes a certain type of abuse. This is what folks whose weight is excessively greater than normal on body mass index would have thought.
So it became incumbent for the human activists to raise voice for them on digital platforms and compel the social media giant to remove the insulting icon. They did so and did quite successfully as the Facebook has finally removed the controversial icon.
“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,” Facebook spokeswoman said. “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.”
As said earlier, Endangered Bodies group was the main cause of the backlash who filed numerous Change.org petitions in the last month. Activists of the aforesaid group believe that fatness is not a feeling and its usage in such fashion is degrading for overweight people.
The ‘feeling fat’ option is no longer available, but the emoticon with chubby cheeks remains in the status menu — now being labeled as ‘feeling stuffed’.
Abubaker Zahoor writes on diverse topics with special interest in innovations, tech-ethics, and inter-and intra- organizational business relationships.