Dear Social Media Giants, Stop Fat Shaming Plus Size Women
Just a few weeks ago, Facebook came under fire for wrongfully removing an image of plus size model Tess Holliday after deeming it a violation to their “health and fitness policy.” While they apologized for the incident, it seems that they did not really learn their lesson. Now, Facebook-owned social media app Instagram is being accused of fat shaming after they removed an image of three plus size women who all posed in a bikini without any cause to.
Singapore-based plus size fashion blogger Aarti Olivia Dubey was asked to write an article about body positivity and swimwear for the June issue of Singaporean fashion magazine, CLEO. The request itself was a first; Singaporean publications did not usually seek out local plus size women or men to feature in their spreads. So, naturally, Dubey jumped on the chance to tell other plus size women that they should be comfortable with their bodies and not afraid to wear a bikini, or any other type of swimwear.
Then the magazine invited Dubey to pose in a bikini picture to be featured alongside her empowering article. She invited two other plus size women fashion bloggers, Ratna Manokaran and Rani Dhaschainey, to pose alongside her, and the three had a lot of fun during the shoot. Wanting to share the moment with people, Dubey shared some of the images on her Instagram page.
But one particular photo of the bikini wearing women seemed to get more views than the rest and rude, fat shaming comments followed. It was not until the next morning that Dubey learned that Instagram had removed the image, citing that it “violated their community guidelines.” But, they provided no more information than that to Dubey, who decided to call Instagram out for what they had done. Her image did not violate their guidelines as she, Manokaran, and Dhaschainey were all clothed, and nothing obscene was shown or being done. The only reason it had been removed was because people reported it just because the did not like seeing plus size women in a bikini.
In her open letter to the app, Dubey pointed out that while her image was removed, countless other images that truly violated the community guidelines stayed up. She made it clear that she found the way the app handled things to be messed up, as it essentially encouraged hate and fat shaming rather than helping to eliminate it.
Aarti Olivia Dubey is one of the many plus size women that are taking a stand against this sort of thing, calling the companies out for their fat shaming, fat phobia, and racism. It started with Facebook removing the image of Tess Holliday in her bikini, just a few weeks ago. Now, Instagram has had a similar incident- and there are likely even more that no one has heard of. If these social media giants want to stay on top, then they may want to rethink their guidelines and pay closer attention to what it is they are claiming “violates” their guidelines. Because this fat shaming? It needs to stop.
Facebook’s “Health and Fitness” Policy Says This Body Is “Undesirable”