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Facebook Users Petition for Removal of ‘Feeling Fat’ Emoji

Screenshot 2015-03-04 at 3.50.52 PM
Despite recently implementing new measures designed to protect the wellbeing of its members, Facebook is reportedly unsure whether it should remove an emoji that many users say promotes fat-shaming and body-negativity.

Catherine Weingarten launched a petition last month to coincide with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, asking Facebook to remove ‘feeling fat’ from the site: “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.”

In an interview with The Daily Dot, Weingarten said the ‘feeling fat’ option 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.

[…] There was a long time when I was younger when I would sit around, and I would ‘feel’ fat. I realized later that fat is not a feeling. When you think you’re feeling fat, it’s usually something else.

Weingarten has partnered on her petition with the nonprofit Endangered Bodies; according to The Daily Dot, Endangered Bodies has already discussed the implications of ‘feeling fat’ with Facebook, but the site is unsure whether restricting members’ options will be effective:

Facebook’s list of emojis are supposed to provide the full spectrum of emotions, both positive and negative. And while negative posts may encourage negative responses, you can also argue it could help people realize when friends might need help.

The petition has already received 11,984 of its intended 15,000 signatures.

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