Why Is Bitmoji Fat-Shaming Me?

I know what you are thinking, and you need to chill: I got Bitmoji ironically, so it's totally fine and I'm still cool.

I was inspired by my mom, whose Bitmoji avatar looks so incredibly like her that it seems crafted by the gods: cat-eye glasses, flippy hair, a heart-shaped face. She began sending them to my sister and me and was met by a polarizing reaction: my sister instantly hated Mom-vatar, which inspired adoration from me. Shortly afterward, my dad sent an almost Barack-Obama-esque avatar sitting on a toilet to us with the message "Good Morning, Girls!" (we clarified: it was him, not POTUS). My sister flipped out, and I felt my best response was to create one in my likeness to join in on the fun of cyber-bullying her.

I made sure to make my Bitmoji a) as fat as possible and b) in a crop top. She looks sort of like me (the nude lipstick, the large frames, the bad haircut), but what she lacks in physical likeness she makes up for with charisma. 

I love her. She is me.

The app is not really easy to navigate, with categories like "star," "exclamation point in a word bubble," and "slanted-mouth emoji." But I've spent many car rides flipping through them, and I've found a bounty of top tier Bitmoji poses. Here she is being passive aggressive:

Sexting:

And here she is in a situation I can't imagine myself in:

Ah, yes--blue tones with a neon-lit peace sign foam hand. The barely open eyes signify Hale-moji is probably under the influence. I can use this if I ever want to tell the story of the time I thought I could smoke weed and have fun, but I just ended up eating a box of Hot Tamales and falling asleep at 6:30PM.

Hale-moji even comes readily available as a vehicle for outdated internet jokes. Seen here, Hale-moji bends over a crisp pair of Vans with the words "DAAAMN, DANIEL" in word art below:

Weirdly, Bitmoji does paid advertisements that let you put your avatar in media-themed situations. Sometimes these are as totally fine as far as Bitmoji go, but sometimes they change your avatar to look more... waif-like?

I think this is a Borat joke, but it's honestly some really low tier advertising here. I don't know where I stop and the reference begins. Luckily, I am vaguely familiar with SNL and The Lonely Island, but if you were the average Bitmoji user, wouldn't you ask yourself, "Who the fuck is this?"

Are companies really paying to have these made? Did Andy Samberg sign off on reminding people of a joke he made over five years ago? Or is this part of some larger conspiracy to make Bitmoji seem trendy? Speaking of which...

Do they expect me to believe that an actual human being will be spurred to watch the 2015 X-Files revival by a really indistinguishable Bitmoji in a suit with some superimposed arc words?? Do they expect me to believe that if my avatar was fat in this pic, it would somehow cheapen the product??

Anyway, I get it: they're a brand, I don't have to use this brand, I'm a liberal baby, blah blah blah. But if I send this to my friends:

THEY WILL TRULY NOT RECOGNIZE ME!! Wasn't the point of this whole thing to have an avatar that looks like the user?

Why are you morphing Hale-moji into a skinny Captain American? Even in real life, I can be fat in a Captain America suit. I don't claim to know a lot about Captain America outside of Chris Evans and a Wikipedia page, but I'm pretty sure--nay, certain--this isn't the America that Cap would want. 

When I bought my new iPhone 7 (a brag), I downloaded three Final Fantasy games, but I did not want to waste the space on BitMoji. Why bother? How many times can you send Hale-moji and still have it be funny, anyway? I didn’t want to find out. 

I hope you're happy, Bitmoji. You got a fatty to leave. Maybe someday, when we're all drowning in Bitcoins in the Bitempire, I'll have to rejoin for identification purposes. But until that time, my sister will rest easy.

Hale Goetz4 Comments