Update on the #fatisnotafeeling petition: 15 000 signatures and counting!
By Natalie Jovanovski.
Since the #fatisnotafeeling petition was launched over a week ago, there have been more than 15,000 online signatures of support from all over the world – over 15,000 voices in agreement that Facebook should remove their body-shaming “fat” and “ugly” emojis. Support for the #fatisnotafeeling campaign has been overwhelming, gaining widespread media coverage and, perhaps more importantly, fostering open discussions about body-shaming messages and how the digital age has contributed to the evolution of these harmful cultural narratives.
If you were one of the people who signed and shared the petition, Endangered Bodies Australia just wants to say THANK YOU for all your support! Without your voices, Facebook’s body-shaming emoji’s would continue without question, and as we all know, harmful messages thrive in a culture of silence - the only way to break the cycle is by speaking up.
Thankfully, our collective voices have been heard. Media coverage of the Fat is not a Feeling campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. International campaigns, as well as Australia’s campaign which was launched by Rebecca Guzelian, have been picking up traction, featuring in news articles from the Washington Post, Daily Mail, Huffington Post, CNN and even Buzzfeed, where one twitter-user mocked the “fat” emoji by asking, “What’s next? Feeling ‘kidney’? Feeling ‘brain’?”
Speaking to the Daily Mail, our very own vice-president of Endangered Bodies, Sarah McMahon, said that while the support for the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive, there is still more work to be done:
“Facebook has not been listening. Not only do these features remain as emoji selections, Facebook have not addressed the criticisms that this plays in contributing to culture of body shaming… This is despite the fact Facebook claims that one of their core values is to build social value - which in this instance they are not doing. This is particularly concerning when research demonstrates that Facebook use is already associated with increased risk of eating disorders, weight concern and anxiety”.
Indeed, what is often ignored in discussions of body-shaming messages is the notion that they are powerful enough to influence negative self-evaluations in people that can lead to eating disorders. Tackling our culture of dangerous messages requires identifying both how and where body-shaming messages occur, and discussing what can be done to stop these messages.
Unfortunately, the “fat” and “ugly” emojis still feature as regular part of Facebook’s emoji selection, so our task is not over yet! We need more voices to join our cause, and more discussions about how “fat” and “ugly” are adjectives, and not feelings.
If you haven’t done so already, please sign Rebecca’s change.org petition calling for Facebook to remove their body-shaming “fat” and “ugly” emojis. Send it to all your friends and family, and encourage open discussions about body-shaming messages and their impact on women’s lives. If you have twitter, use the hashtag #fatisnotafeeling to spread the word.
Our collective voices are powerful enough to take down Facebook’s body-shaming “fat” and “ugly” emojis. Let’s do this one signature at a time – and let’s keep talking about it. Please sign the petition here!