Facebook has recently banned (and later apologized) a plus-size model advertisement image that included a model wearing a two-piece outfit.
The ban was made claiming the image portrays “body parts in an undesirable manner,” and thus violates the social media’s guidelines. The picture was of American plus-size model Tess Holliday in the context of an event post for Australian organization called Cherchez la Femme.
Cherchez la Femme is a once a month talk show with a feminist focus. The agency was targeting fat acceptance, activism and fashion from a body-positive perspective and thought of Tess Holliday as the perfect model to illustrate those goals.
Tess Holiday is a glamorous plus-size model and an outspoken feminist.
Facebook didn’t take down the event but did not approve the advert to promote it.
When Cherchez la Femme appealed Facebook’s decision, the social media giant replied the picture of the model did not comply with its “health and fitness policy.”
The exact words were: “Ads may not depict a state of health or body weight as being perfect or extremely undesirable.” Ads like these (..) make viewers feel bad about themselves. Instead, we recommend using an image of a relevant activity, such as running or riding a bike.”
While it is not clear how Facebook can determine how a person feels, the company changed its mind yesterday and apologized. They said their team processes millions of advertising images weekly, so mistakes are bound to happen, but this particular picture does not violate their ad policies, and they retract their previous ban and present their apologies.
Before the retraction and apology, Cherchez la Femme wrote on its social media page that it is enraged because Facebook was ignoring the fact that the company was discussing body positivity with the event and wasn’t set out to make women feel bad about themselves, as Facebook concluded.
Angered by Facebook’s action, the Australian organization took matters into their hands and posted a screen shot of the message.
Co-head of the Australian group, Jessamyn Gleeson commented for The Guardian the fact that she was furious with Facebook for what they did, and she also looked into the outcome of the other thousands of plus-size model cases that don’t get as much media attention as theirs got.
Image source: YouTube