Women can sometimes have “fat” or “ugly” days when we just don’t feel as confident as we usually do in front of the mirror. But according to an international women’s group, fat and ugly are not feelings that should be perpetuated on mainstream social media because they subconsciously make women feel even worse about their self image.
Endangered Bodies, a global initiative launched in 2011 to challenge negative perceptions about women’s and girls’ bodies in media, has launched a petition on Change.org titled “Remove the‘I Feel Fat’ & ‘I Feel Ugly’ status options and emoticons! Fat is not a feeling!”, headed by two young women, Vicky and Charlotte (pictured in the main image), from Engdangered Bodies London.
The group says that teens and young women already have enough pressure from society to look a certain way and that having the emotions featured on Facebook’s desktop and app versions only embeds the negative perceptions and feelings deeper into their minds.
“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,” reads the petition.
“‘Fat’ and ‘ugly’ are offered as feelings in the status updates list, and we think it’s wrong. We think it promotes and supports the endless torrent of judgment and pressure to be perfect felt by young people across the world. We do enough comparing as it is, we don’t need a status update to make it even easier to feel bad about ourselves.”
The petition is campaigning for 15 000 signatures to support it and so far has 13 145 people who have done so.
“We never want to hurt people with our petition. We are just concerned that fat has taken on – in many contexts - the status of hate speech – hate speech not directed at others but at self. This is what we aim to interrupt,” says Susie Orbach, convenor of AnyBody/Endangered Bodies UK.
Facebook is yet to respond to the petition.