An Australian feminist group is slamming Facebook for reportedly banning a photo of a plus-sized model because the image depicted "body parts in an undesirable manner."
Cherchez la Femme is an Australian-based feminist group that hosts popular talk shows with an "unapologetically feminist angle," The Guardian notes.
The group was promoting an event on body positivity on Facebook and used a photo of plus-sized model Tess Holliday wearing a bikini to advertise it, The Guardian reported. But the advertisement was rejected.
According to Cherchez la Femme, Facebook’s ad team told the group the advertisement violated their guidelines.
The group appealed the decision, and Facebook defended their position, saying the photo did not comply with the site’s "health and fitness policy."
Cherchez la Femme then took to their Facebook page on May 19 to slam the site for their decision. They wrote in part:
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.
On May 23, Facebook changed its stance and apologized to the group, The Guardian reports. They determined the photo did comply with their guidelines.
"Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads," Facebook's statement read, according to The Guardian. "This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ad."
But Jessamy Gleeson, co-producer of Cherchez la Femme, said the apology wasn’t enough and that Facebook’s original explanation for rejecting the photo left her speechless.
"I was utterly furious," Gleeson told the Guardian. "I couldn’t comprehend it, quite frankly. We thought it was really horrible and isolating and alienating. … Women with fat bodies can, of course, can be as desirable as anybody else."
Gleeson now hopes Facebook will re-examine its policies.
"Quite simply they need to understand we can use images of fat women to promote women being happy," Gleeson added. "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."