Facebook Censored My Fitness Photo

Oh, the drama!

After I published yesterday’s fitness blog outlining my post-baby weight loss, I made the (apparently bold) decision to post the following snapshot as my profile picture on Facebook.

photo 2

As it turns out, there’s a mean girl on the loose — and Facebook supports her. When I woke up this morning, I was shocked to see that the image was removed, and my 370 Facebook friends were subjected to the bobbed and blank Facebook gal.


I promptly addressed my friends and shared the following message on my timeline:

Dear Facebook: I’m sorry you found my fitness photo offensive and removed it, while my male peers are permitted to shamelessly show off their ‘moobs’ in shitless poolside photos. — feeling annoyed.

The feedback and support came pouring in:

  • WHAT??!!! That’s ridiculous!!!!!!! I’ve seen so many photos on Facebook like the ones you’ve posted. I would definitely argue that one.
  • The ones that found it offending are the ones that are jealous. You worked hard for it.
  • OMG really??? So sorry my lady!! How were those even slightly offensive??
  • That’s crazy…I have a few friends on my FB that are pro fitness models and have their photos pasted all over their Profile page, etc. You look fab in the photos – as per usual
  • That’s so messed up, lady. I’ve seen FAR more revealing photos all over here. FB needs to get it’s priorities straightened out.
  • You rocked it lady! They can screw off!!!
  • I am so freaking confused and annoyed. I just did a quick “boob” search on FB and it seems all this is allowed.
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  • You have a platform Jenny, I think this is an awesome time to use it. Let’s make this viral. I propose we all post your article and ask our friends to do the same with a heading explaining the misogyny in allowing women to be sexualized on FB but not empowered!
  • I am totally shocked by that. Really I am. Your beautiful not offensive!
  • Sadly it means someone reported it. I have seen a number of fb photos that are currently up that show way more. Your pic was no different than any other fitness or motivational photo that receives multiple shares on fb! Be extremely proud of what you have accomplished and your ability to inspire others!
  • WHAT? That is insane, that was a beautiful pic of you and so classy! I’m sorry Jenny Schafer
  • It’s insulting to know they don’t allow a fitness photo, but they allow young girls to stand in front of mirrors and flaunt their boobs or ass
  • Are you kidding me? Jenny, you look amazing and you’re an inspiration! Your abs, will forever be engrained in my head (next to the little woman that says, get out of your chair and go to the gym)
  • Are you kidding me??? This is the most ridiculous thing ever!! Your picture are in NO WAY offensive!!!! They are MOTIVATIONAL!!
  • I say we all change our profile pic to Jenny fitness pic!
  • This is absolutely RIDICULOUS! If Jillian Michaels and Autumn Calabrese who are well known Fitness Trainers can wear the same fitness attire in their profile pics then so can the rest of us! I’m ashamed of Facebook!
And the comments, and positive feedback, went on! 

We’ve all heard of Facebook censoring breastfeeding photos (which I, in fact, find highly offensive of Facebook), private groups and other photos. But to me, my blocked photo comes with a three-part argument:

1. Someone doesn’t like me and reported my picture. I’m a big girl and I can handle that truth. But just so we’re clear, here’s a note to you: I definitely have my suspicions as to who you are, but that’s besides the point. If you really find me and my Facebook posts offensive, all you have to do is unfriend me. Why go that extra mile and report my photo? I didn’t show anything different than a woman in a bikini, or a fitness model (of which you will find all over Facebook).

The bottom line is, you’re jealous. Why can’t you be proud of me, or just simply leave it alone? The truth is, I worked my ass off (literally) for that body. I pulled a deuce with all three of my pregnancies, and lost a whopping 70 lbs. in my late thirties, with a full-time job, three children, and no childcare. If that is offensive to you, then you’re the true ‘boob’ and you do not belong to the sisterhood.

2. Facebook censors suck. Sure, a ‘friend’ reported it, but Facebook didn’t have to enable the mean girl! Please tell me what is offensive about my photo. Yes, a whole lot of my epidermis is showing, but is it really offensive?!

My question is: how does Facebook deem what is and is not appropriate? A woman breastfeeding her child? An aging MILF in a sports bra and shorts? Where do they draw the line, and who makes these decisions?

3. Misogyny is alive and well. Defined, misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Not only does my ‘friend’ bathe in misogyny, so does our society. What offends me, you ask? If my male peers can post photos of their ‘moobs’ and shirtless chests (and bare legs), why the hell can’t I?

In closing, my love/hate relationship with Facebook has been taken to another level today. I cannot imagine how the powers that be felt my photo was offensive. Sure, I desperately need a tan and my makeup was a touch heavy, but why the drastic censorship?!

And to the mean girl on my friend list: why so bitter? I support my friends through the journeys of motherhood and aging. Maybe you should, too. Either that, or get laid!

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