Facebook Apologizes For Banning Plus-Size Model Picture

| by Michael Allen
Ad with Tess Holliday that Facebook originally bannedAd with Tess Holliday that Facebook originally banned

Facebook recently banned, and apologized for banning, an advertisement that included a picture of a plus-size model wearing a two-piece outfit because it portrayed "body parts in an undesirable manner."

The picture was part of an ad by Cherchez la Femme, an Australian organization, and included Tess Holliday. Facebook originally said the ad violated its "ad guidelines," notes The Guardian.

Cherchez la Femme appealed the rejection of its ad, but Facebook told them the picture of Holliday did not follow its "health and fitness policy."

The social media site added, according to The Guardian: "Ads may not depict a state of health or body weight as being perfect or extremely undesirable. Ads like these are not allowed since they make viewers feel bad about themselves. Instead, we recommend using an image of a relevant activity, such as running or riding a bike."

However, the popular social media giant changed its mind on May 23 and said in a statement: "Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ad.”

The CDC states on its website: "People who are obese, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions."

Some of the conditions listed on the government site are: high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, strokes, gallbladder disease, some types of cancers, sleep apnea, breathing problems, body pain and the breaking down of cartilage and bone within a joint.

In response to the controversy, Cherchez la Femme wrote on its Facebook page on May 19:

Facebook has ignored the fact that our event is going to be discussing body positivity (which comes in all shapes and sizes, but in the particular case of our event, fat bodies), and has instead come to the conclusion that we've set out to make women feel bad about themselves by posting an image of a wonderful plus sized woman.

We're raging pretty hard over here - both because Facebook seemingly has no idea that plus sized, self describing fat women can feel great about themselves, and also because we haven't been able to boost the original damn post.

Jessamy Gleeson, who co-heads the group, told The Guardian:

I was utterly furious. I couldn’t comprehend it, quite frankly. We thought it was really horrible and isolating and alienating. … Women with fat bodies can, of course, be as desirable as anybody else.

Quite simply they need to understand we can use images of fat women to promote women being happy. What about all the cases that don’t receive this media attention? They’ve been wrong in many other thousands of cases, I’m sure.

Sources: The Guardian, Cherchez la Femme/Facebook, CDC / Photo Credit: Cherchez la Femme/Facebook

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