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Australian Feminist Group Receives Apology From Facebook Over Banned Tess Holliday Photo

tess holliday

Australian Feminist Group Cherchez la Femme was excited for an upcoming event called Cherchez la Femme: Feminism and Fat, which is to be a celebration of the fat acceptance movement, as well as “fatshion.” Tess Holliday is a wonderful example of a woman who is fat and beautiful, having made a career out of it as a plus-size model and worked with some of the biggest brands and photographers in the world, so Cherchez la Femme used a photo of her in a bikini as the header to their event. That photo apparently violated Facebook guidelines.

What’s funny is that the guidelines that the photo supposedly violated are in place to fight against things like fat-shaming. The photo was taken down, because “Ads may not depict a state of health or body weight as being perfect or extremely undesirable. Ads like these are not allowed since they make viewers feel bad about themselves. Instead, we recommend using an image of a relevant activity, such as running or riding a bike.”

This is hilarious, because Tess Holliday in a bikini is clearly not intended to poke fun at a fat body! If you look at the photo on the event page, Holliday looks radiant and happy, and her bikini fits her body perfectly. So apparently, to Facebook, the mere appearance of a fat body is enough to be considered insulting or harmful, because there’s no way anyone would be happy in a body like that, right? There’s no way anyone would see a body like that and not laugh.

Cherchez la Femme responded on their page, saying:

Facebook has ignored the fact that our event is going to be discussing body positivity (which comes in all shapes and sizes, but in the particular case of our event, fat bodies), and has instead come to the conclusion that we’ve set out to make women feel bad about themselves by posting an image of a wonderful plus sized woman. We’re raging pretty hard over here—both because Facebook seemingly has no idea that plus sized, self describing fat women can feel great about themselves, and also because we haven’t been able to boost the original damn post.

After that post was shared over 270 times, Facebook finally apologized. According to The Daily Dot, they said in a statement, “Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ad.”

I’m glad that finally got sorted out, though it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Fat bodies are not inherently unflattering.

(image via screencap)

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