Facebook removes 'feeling fat' status update following petition

Emoticon changed following pressure over body-shaming

Facebook has removed the 'feeling fat' option from its status update menu, following pressure from activists.

Pressure group Endangered Bodies had campaigned for the removal of the emoticon, which featured in a list alongside others such as 'feeling hopeless', 'feeling content' and 'feeling hyper'.

Although the double-chinned emoticon remains on Facebook's list of status 'feelings', its wording has now been changed from 'fat' to 'stuffed'.

Catherine Weingarten set up an online petition to put pressure on Facebook to make the change

Campaigner Catherine Weingarten and Endangered Bodies set up an online petition to put pressure on Facebook to remove the option from its status list.

"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," Weingarten wrote on the petition.

"Fat is not a feeling. Fat is a natural part of our bodies, no matter their weight."

Facebook confirmed the emoticon had been changed in a short statement, which read: “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.”

More than 16,000 signatures had signed Endangered Bodies' petition on change.org over in the two weeks it was running.

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