LIFESTYLE
05/03/2015 10:23 GMT | Updated 12/03/2015 14:59 GMT

#FatIsNotAFeeling: Powerful Petition To End Facebook's 'Fat' And 'Ugly' Status Updates Pays Off

Facebook's controversial 'fat' and 'ugly' emojis have finally been phased out, following a petition on Change.org.

The social networking site had attempted to present 'fat' and 'ugly' as emotions that people would relate to in their Facebook statuses.

One of the women who launched the petition, Catherine Weingarten, told the Daily Dot: “It can trivialize people’s experiences, or encourage people to put out body-negative ideas and have other people validate that.”

“Fatness isn’t a feeling, it’s something on the outside; it’s an insult. A feeling should be something more internal.”

They haven't exactly got rid of it, however, but have changed the description of the fat emoji to 'stuffed'.

smoji

Weingarten was part of a group of women who teamed up with Endangered Bodies to petition for Facebook to remove these from the social networking site.

One of the women backing the petition, Rebecca Guzelian, told Daily Mail Australia: "For young people, who are on Facebook from nine, ten, 11 years of age, having a huge platform like this tell them it's normal to speak about themselves like that is a huge issue."

"Facebook encourages people to focus on and scrutinise the way they look, so as to present the best version of themselves in the online world. Doing this really places an extreme focus on the external, instead of the internal."

rebecca guzelian

Rebecca Guzelian says that 'fat is not a feeling'

The global petition hopes to challenge international body image standards by calling for Facebook to remove their shameful - and potentially damaging - 'fat' and 'ugly' feelings.

Nearly 17,000 people have backed the campaign.

Ana Chetley from Ipswich commented on the petition: "As a 'senior' feminist I find it unacceptable that a public forum encourages women to define themselves in such a way."

Meanwhile Elsebeth Søs Hansen from Denmark added: "Fat is not a feeling! And by the way I also reject the idea that 'fat' is something 'bad' - all bodies are good bodies and all people are of equal value no matter their size, skin colour, sex, age, etc.!"

And, as always, Twitter users had something to say on the matter too.

When Facebook rolled out its 'feelings' feature in 2013, nobody could've predicted the huge body-shaming backlash that the company was about to be faced with.

Needless to say, it went down like a lead balloon.

Facebook then tried to get to the bottom of why feeling 'fat' is problematic and reportedly had been in talks with Endangered Bodies about this.

A jaw-dropping 47% of teenage girls have said that looking at images of models in magazines makes them want to be a smaller size, according to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders.

While the emojis should never have been created in the first place, the company's commitment to health - particularly mental health - issues cannot be denied, as they have a variety of services available for people to report posts about self-harm, as well as resources available for people who are being bullied or have eating disorders.

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"There are things everywhere in the world that tells us to be ashamed of how we look, and why we feel bad about ourselves," said Guzelian. "There are cues everywhere around us, guiding us down that path and if we can prick up our ears and take notice, then we can choose to see ourselves and others in a different light."

Body Image Heroes