The Australian feminist group Cherez la Femme was outraged after Facebook refused to allow the group to advertise an event on the Social Networking site because their ad featured a plus sized model.
The advertisement, meant to promote a “feminism and fat” panel discussion organised by Cherchez La Femme, showcased Tess Holliday, a tattooed, size 24 “body positive activist.” Facebook did not take down the event itself but forbade the ad from being used because it did not conform to the site’s “health and fitness” ad guidelines and “depicts a body… in an undesirable manner”.
“Ads like these are not allowed since they make viewers feel bad about themselves,” said Facebook’s Ads Team initially. “Instead we recommend using an image of a relevant activity, such as running or riding a bike.”
Jessamy Gleeson, one of the event’s producers, was furious.
“They’re not policing women’s bodies when it comes to acceptable standards of beauty elsewhere,” she said.
“I can see that they were attempting to try to tackle eating disorders – that makes sense – but at some point you have to consider that women of different weights exist on Facebook.”
After the group publicized Facebook’s rejection of the image, the site retracted its decision to block the ad and issued a formal apology.
“Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads,” Facebook said in a statement. “This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ad.”