A new Facebook petition has been brought to light to remove the emoticons for ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’ from the social network. The social campaign was started by Endangered Bodies, a group known round the world, which aims to “challenge the current toxic culture that promotes negative body image“. There are a lot of women already backing the movement and signing the petition.
The emoticons on Facebook allow the user to add very specific emotions to their status updates. The people at Endangered Bodies are saying that the ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’ emoticons promote feelings of self-hate and loathing. The emoticon for ‘ugly’ is the same as those for ‘unwanted’, ‘unloved’, ‘lonely’, and a few more.
The women behind the UK branch of the petition, Charlotte and Vicky, say that including these specific emoticons on Facebook “promotes and supports the endless torrent of judgement and pressure to be perfect felt by young people across the world.” They added that, “We do enough comparing as it is, we don’t need a status update to make it even easier to feel bad about ourselves.”
“Those are words we, like many teenagers, once repeated to ourselves as if it was our mantra. It took years to stop attacking ourselves verbally, and once we finally thought things might be looking up, Facebook decided to push us right back down.”
Over at the American petition page, Catherine Weingarten said: “Fat is not a feeling. Fat is a natural part of our bodies, no matter their weight.” Catherine continued, “With 890 million users each day, it [Facebook] has the power to influence how we talk to each other about our bodies. I dream that one day the platform will actively encourage body positivity and self-esteem among its users, but for now, all I ask is that it stop endorsing self-destructive thoughts through seemingly harmless emojis.”
The petition is certainly valid. Will you be supporting their efforts?