Posted by Sarah McMahon · February 25, 2015 4:16 PM
By Natalie Jovanovski
Since 2013, Facebook has caused controversy by using “fat” and “ugly” emoji’s as part of the “feelings” feature of their status updates. Critics of the feelings feature argue that “fat” and “ugly” are not feelings, but rather, judgemental descriptions of women’s bodies. Indeed, as Allison Epstein points out, “You can’t respond to the question, “How are you feeling?” with “short” or “brunette” without getting some weird looks in return”, so why is it acceptable to say that we feel “fat” and “ugly”? In response to online criticisms generated by AnyBody.org and our very own Endangered Bodies, the hashtag #fatisnotafeeling was launched, inviting much-needed discussion about how cultural understandings of “fat” and “ugly” promote disordered eating and body image concerns.
Unfortunately, Facebook hasn’t been listening. Not only have they kept the feature as a regular part of their emoji selection, but they have also failed to address criticisms that these emoji’s contribute to a culture of body-shaming.
'Love your body' has become a highly used catchphrase of our times. In fact this cliché is often used by those with questionable motives. Even companies that promote sexual objectification of young women, like The Sun Newspaper, now claim to also promote the ‘love your body’ ideal.
For 45 years, The Sun newspaper has run a topless spread of a female model on the Page 3 of its tabloid. The Sun has even gone as far as to encourage its readers to send in their own images of their breasts - as a way to exploit breast cancer awareness.