Plus-size model Tess Holliday unfortunately knows all too well about "concern trolls" — those who criticize people's bodies under the guise of being worried" about their health. But Holliday probably didn't expect one of those trolls to be the biggest social network on the internet. Facebook recently banned a photo of Holliday, posted by the Australian feminist talk show group Cherchez La Femme, claiming that the image depicts "body parts in an undesirable manner." Cherchez La Femme tried to post the photo to promote an upcoming segment centered on body positivity, but the post was denied for apparently contradicting Facebook's "Health and Fitness" policy. In an effort to fix the situation, the group contacted Facebook, only to be told that the photo depicted "a body or body parts in an undesirable manner." "Ads may not depict a state of health or body weight as being perfect or extremely undesirable," Facebook wrote. "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." Naturally, Cherchez La Femme was not happy with Facebook's body-shaming policy. "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," the group wrote in a post.
Facebook has since reinstated the image and apologized for the incident. "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 company said in a statement to The Guardian. The apology may be too little, too late, but the awesome ladies at Cherchez La Femme are turning lemons into lemonade. The group took Facebook's suggestion of a photo of a bike to heart, calling attention to the Stocky Bodies project, which was created to combat stigmatized representations of overweight and obese people in the media and popular culture.
Talk about a productive clap-back. And as for Holliday herself, she continues to be a beacon of body positivity, using her platform to call for better body representation in media.