A group is petitioning Facebook to remove the “fat” emoji from the “feeling” drop down list. They say fat is not a feeling, and that listing it there endorses self-destructive thoughts. They say that the social media giant should lean more toward body-positive thoughts, instead.
Facebook offers over 120 “feeling” options, as well as a blank for creating your own, in a dropdown menu that you can select when updating your status. For instance, you might choose “feeling adventurous” and attach it to your status about leaving for your hike of vacation. One of the odder options, though, is “fat.”
Of course, it’s true that “fat” isn’t an emotion. Neither is “full,” another option on the list, though “full” is arguably something you can feel.
The petition, which is only a few hundred signatures short of its goal, calls for signers to press the social network to remove the emoji, which it says is a mockery of people struggling with weight.
“When Facebook users set their status to ‘feeling fat,’ they are making fun of people who consider themselves to be overweight, which can include many people with eating disorders. That is not ok. Join me in asking Facebook to remove the ‘fat’ emoji from their status options.”
Endangered Bodies describes their effort as one to stop women and girls from being told to hate their own bodies.
“We challenge all those merchants of body hatred who turn girls and women against their own bodies.”
Facebook has been very forward-thinking in other identity issues — when complaints arose about the binary options for gender, the network first expanded gender options, then opened up the ability to simply type in your own gender identity. Users can also now select their own pronouns.
Facebook also reversed a “real name‘” policy when LGBTQ users, domestic violence and stalking victims, and others, said it made them feel unsafe (though some reports say that users are still having problems with the policy).
All of this would indicate that the social network will be ready to listen when faced with a petition, showing thousands of signatures of people who think that “fat” shouldn’t be an option on the list of feelings.
The campaign isn’t limited to a simple petition, either — the “Fat Is Not A Feeling” Tumblr page collects posts with the #FatIsNotAFeeling hashtag, including numerous quotes from teenagers about body positivity.
If you agree that fat is not a feeling, you can sign the petition here.
[Photo by: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]