A Change.org campaign is attempting to petition Facebook to remove the “feeling fat” emoticon because it allows users to make fun of obese people.
The author of the petition, Catherine Weingarten said she noticed the emoticon on a friend’s status update and knew “it was supposed to be funny, but seeing this status made me feel angry.”
The emoticon in question includes a smiling face with a double chin and pronounced cheeks.
“Fat is not a feeling,” the aptly named “Remove the ‘Feeling Fat’ Emoticon Option” petition argues. “Fat is a natural part of our bodies, no matter their weight. And all bodies deserve to be respected and cared for.”
“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. That is not ok.”
The international activist organization Endangered Bodies sponsored the Change.org request with Weingarten, who wrote the petition for the American audience. Weingarten’s Twitter account describes her as a “playwriting MFA candidate at Ohio University” who enjoys “pink obese donuts.”
“Facebook should use the impact it has on people’s lives positively by not promoting body-shaming in any way,” Endangered Bodies wrote in a blog post.
The organization also wants Facebook to remove the “feeling ugly” Facebook emoticon option, but there is no individual petition for that movement.
On the Endangered Bodies website, the organization encourages visitors to “dare to enjoy your body.” According to Endangered Bodies, “There is a growing movement of girls, women and men who reject the horrors of body uniformity and cherish instead the variety of body shapes, sizes, colours, ages of us all.”
In the two weeks since the campaign was posted online, the petition has received more than 13,400 signatures.