The social media giant made the change after a petition to remove the emoticon went viral

By Gabrielle Olya
March 12, 2015 07:10 PM
Courtesy Catherine Weingarten

A 16,000-signature Change.org petition asking Facebook to remove the "feeling fat" status update option has led the social media giant to eliminate the emoticon.

“We’ve heard from our community that listing ‘feeling fat’ as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders, so we’re going to remove ‘feeling fat’ from the list of options,” a Facebook spokesperson tells PEOPLE. “We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we think about ways to help people express themselves on Facebook.”

Facebook users will still be able to select others customized feelings from the drop-down menu.

The “Fat is Not a Feeling” petition was launched by eight members of the nonprofit organization Endangered Bodies, all of whom have struggled with disordered eating and body image in the past. Facebook’s move is a huge victory for body acceptance, according to Catherine Weingarten, American ambassador for the campaign.

“I am thrilled that the ‘feeling fat’ emoji has been taken down because it is a win for body positivity,” Weingarten tells PEOPLE in a statement. “I feel so grateful that I helped remove something on social media that encouraged disordered eating/body shame.”

“Young people today engage in social media so frequently, and I am happy that we made Facebook a more body positive and supportive space with this change,” she adds.

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