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Petition To Remove 'Fat' Emoji

Facebook, Can We Really Feel Fat?

There are over 100 emotions we can feel in our status updates on Facebook, but should fat really be one of them?

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On Facebook’s “How are you feeling?” status feature you can feel a variety of abstract concepts. From happy or sad to perplexed and naughty. But recently, there has been controversy on Facebook over the fact one of the fixed options is fat.

A group called Endangered Bodies has set up a petition to try and get Facebook to remove this option along with the double-chinned, puffy faced emoji that accompanies it.

My first impression of this Facebook “feeling” was that the user may have eaten too much and now they feel like they've gained a few pounds. However, it doesn't take a genius to realise there are better ways to say you've eaten today than calling yourself fat.

Facebook knows this too, because feeling “stuffed” is also an option and is buddied up with the same chubby face. Meanwhile, there’s another option to feel “full” which has just a grinning emoji, no extra chins needed this time.

The Endangered Bodies group say that “fat” is not a feeling and using it in this way will promote and normalize body-shaming. And who will this damage the most? Young people, especially those struggling with their self-esteem and those highly susceptible to eating disorders.

Hospital admissions for eating disorders have increased in the last year by 16% and one in ten of all admissions were girls aged 15.

The people at Endangered Bodies want nothing more than to see eating disorders decrease in young people.

Currently, social networks seem to be nothing but damaging for this cause: just look at the controversy over Pinterest’s search word “thinspiration” and the questionable “tips and advice” on “weight management” that Facebook offers through its endless links to health foods, dieting pills and pro-anorexic websites.

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When all is said and done, there is still the option for people to “add their own.” If I were Facebook, I’d remove it (/never upload it in the first place) and if people really want to feel fat, then they can type it in themselves.

Facebook says the options were based on people’s choices. So, yes, maybe fat is a popular choice but you only have to see the short and spiteful word to realise how it looks and sounds compared to others in the selection.

It certainly wouldn't have been in my top 100 to place on any preset list of emotions.

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF
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Petition To Remove 'Fat' Emoji Reviewed by Megan Herdson on Friday, March 13, 2015 Rating: 5
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