BodyMatters was delighted to hear last night that Facebook has removed their “feeling fat” emoticon. Facebook made the following statement in this regard:
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.
BodyMatters therapist Rebecca Guzelian championed the Australian contingent of this campaign, joining forces with seven other young women from around the world in synchronized petitions in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, UK/ Ireland, and the USA. You can read more about the Australian petition here.
Says Rebecca regarding the victory:
I am so pleased that Facebook has responded to our campaign and decided to remove the “I feel fat” status option and emoticon. With this victory we can all feel confident that if we rally together to stand up to the harmful body-shaming messages promoted through so many channels in our lives every day, our voices can and will be heard! As someone who sees the effects of this kind of body-shaming and ‘fat talk’ every day in my work with eating disorder clients, I could not be happier that the emoticon has been removed. We are one step closer to creating a more body-positive society for women and men, and girls and boys all around the world!
Over 16 000 people signed the petition in less than two weeks, showing just how important this issue is.