You can update your Facebook status to express yourself freely, with the ability to also add the options of what you are doing or how you are feeling. Maybe you checked into Hooters and updated your status to share with your friends that you are eating more than your fair share of bacon-wrapped chicken wings. After that delicious meal, you might be feeling a little bit too full, updating your status that you feel fat.
But fat isn't a feeling.
In an attempt to get people to move away from negative feelings regarding their weight, a petition has been created on Change.org that says Facebook should remove the option for its users to update their status to read that they are feeling fat.
The petition was started by Endangered Bodies, a non-profit that challenges those who turn women against their bodies. Seven activists are serving as ambassadors for the petition including Catherine Weingarten, an Ohio-based graduate student.
After seeing a status of someone "feeling fat" with a chubby emoji that was supposed to be funny, the creators of the petition felt that this type of status can be harmful for those struggling with eating disorders.
And Weingarten knows exactly how this feels because she suffered from an eating disorder in her younger years. "I always had this idea of 'I'm fat,' 'I feel fat,' but when I was saying that, that wasn't actually how I was feeling," she says. "I was feeling angry at myself and like I wasn't good enough, but I simplified it to 'I feel fat.'"
The petition stresses that fat is not a feeling, but rather a part of our bodies.
"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," the petition reads. "That is not ok."
And since Facebook is widely popular with 890 million users on each day, the social networking site has the power to influence positive body images. The petition has over 15,000 signatures and has caught the attention of Facebook.
"People use Facebook to share their feelings with friends and support each other," a statement from Facebook says. "One option we give people to express themselves is to add a feeling to their posts. You can choose from over 100 feelings we offer based on people's input or create your own."
Facebook posted in its Help Center that it is working with the National Eating Disorders Association to help those in need. However, it seems like it won't be removing that double chin emoji anytime soon.
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