Fat Activist’s Pictures Stolen By Diet Company

Rachele Cateyes is a positive body image blogger and fat activist.  She blogs at www.nearsightedowl.com and last year she posted this fabulous photo of herself in a bikini to “send a powerful message about body positivity.”

Anchors away! I finally have myself a proper high-waisted fatkini. I took my body and put it on a beach and voila! Beach body! Wearing a bikini as a fat woman is an act of rebellion. I felt glorious and glamorous all at the same time. I wore my stretch marks as ribbons of honor and let the sun kiss my lumpy thighs and arms without a care in the world.

Rachele obviously rocks and so does this photo.  So imagine her horror when friends, fans, and even co-workers started reporting to her that they were seeing the photo used in ads for a weight loss product with taglines like “why women should never diet like a man”, or “how to cut down your body fat.”  Not just a couple of ads but, thanks to an affiliate program, the use of the picture was spiraling out of control.  Not just using her picture for profit without permission, but using it in precisely the opposite manner as it was intended.  Some even wondered if she had pulled a Jess Weiner,  giving up her fat activism and body positivity to pursue the profits of the diet world.

Rachele reacted like the rock star she is, going after them like a honey badger.  After posting her story on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter other activists started making complaints, and that helped her story get picked up by the media, and then she started to get some action – the leadership of the parent company has become involved with ferreting out the affiliates who are misusing the picture.

There’s still work to do here and you can help. Read the whole story in Rachele’s words here, and check out this video to learn how you can get involved:

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Published in: on March 13, 2014 at 6:34 am  Comments (17)  

17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. And that is my cue to head to bed and put paid to this travesty of a day before I blow my stack from here to Jehoshaphat and back. Good freaking NIGHT. ><

  2. I’ve been following Rachel’s blog for awhile, and I hate this is happening to her (and goodness knows who else it has happened to).

    I did want to point out that Rachel accepts commissions to do drawings of people, especially fat women. So check out her artistic side ,too, it is just as cool as her activist side. Actually, I think she pretty much just combines it all in the terrific package you see above.🙂

  3. this is what reminds me how the outside world is so not-accepting. We have this good community thing going here, but just knowing that one picture of a fat woman is enough to scare others into worthless diets is so depressing.

    Thanks for putting this out there, and I will check out her blog. –Jen

  4. I saw that photo on Facebook, but was not familiar with Rachele’s blog. I did not click, but I remember thinking how awesome and happy Rachele looked. It made me sad in a way because it was another example of the world telling us we are fooling ourselves if we think we can be happy- it’s even sadder now that I know the whole story.

  5. Why can’t I just be “positive” and “nice”? Well, this right here is exactly why.

    • Yep, this is it, all right.

    • BINGO.

  6. I’m so disappointed about Jess Weiner! Her book Do I Look Fat in This was what started my interest in fat acceptance.

  7. Such is the state of affairs that my first response to reading this headline was a weary, “again?” It’s sad the only surprising thing about this story is that serial appropriators Special K weren’t behind it this time.

    • “Serial appropriators.” I see what you did there!😀

  8. Rachele is an amazing person and an inspirational blogger, and I am one of the people who commissioned her to draw me. She’s been a rock for me in my journey for self acceptance, and it enrages me that this is going on. When Rachele alerted everyone to the photos being stolen, I reported them all on Facebook, and a couple of days later I got an email telling me they wouldn’t remove the photos as they hadn’t violated their community standards. Only when the story broke wide did Facebook say they had chosen to remove the photos. I can only imagine how devastating this is for Rachele.

  9. I’m a big fan of the underpants rule and firmly believe that everyone has a right to use Facebook if that’s what they want to do. But I am simply flabbergasted at the enormous price people are willing to pay for this “free” service. Permanent loss of privacy and personal information, frequent theft of images and writings, the constant data mining and selling of every scrap of information about you… I just Do.Not.Get.It.

    Rachele’s story is all too common. I’m happy to have met her through this blog. She sounds like an awesome person, one whose blog I will happily read now that I know about it. I hope she is successful in fighting these scumbags.

    • I don’t get it either, Mairi. I’m not on Facebook, never have been, and the more I hear about it the less I can imagine ever signing up for it. I’ve heard so many stories of people’s photos being stolen for god-knows-what and the data mining just gives me the heebie-jeebies.

      I too hope Rachele can inflict some real damage on the thieves.

      • It’s been 2-3 years since I stopped using FB, so the ToS may have changed. At the time, one of the conditions of ToS was that FB reserved the right to use any image you uploaded onto the site for their own purposes. That meant any picture uploaded could/would be used for ads and nothing could be done about it because you’d agreed to the ToS.

        • You can now opt out of having your photos used by Facebook for ads. Also, they claim they don’t allow third parties to use the photos.

    • I’m not on FB, either. I check out a couple of pages by people I like. But that’s it. Your comments sum up my feelings about almost perfectly.

  10. I’m sorry this happened to you. It is a travesty!!


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