As of yesterday, "feeling fat" is now longer a preset option within Facebook status updates. The social network removed the emoticon after 16,771 people signed a Change.org petition in protest.
Rebecca Guzelian, an Australian counselor and one of the activists who started the petition, writes that normalizing so-called "fat talk" encourages negative self-image among women and men alike:
When someone says “I feel fat” what they’re really communicating is that they feel unattractive, unhappy, embarrassed and insecure about their body. And believe it or not, these feelings are most commonly a response to the unrealistic, culturally promoted ideals of thinness and beauty that are shoved in our faces every single day.
"Fat is not a feeling" soon became a rallying cry on social media.
Last night, Facebook finally responded to the petition directly.
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.
On the site, the double-chinned emoticon that was previously associated with "fat" now comes up if you say you're feeling "stuffed."
That said, users are still more than welcome to feel "ugly."
[h/t The Verge]
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.