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Plus-size blogger Rachele Cateyes’s rage after diet company steals her image

By
Sadie Whitelocks


10:29 EST, 14 March 2014


|

12:12 EST, 14 March 2014

A plus-size blogger has told of her horror after finding out that a diet company was using a bikini shot of her without permission to show customers what they ‘don’t want to look like’.

Rachele Cateyes from Oregon, who is a U.S. size 26, revealed on her blog that a work colleague alerted her to the issue after a weight loss advert popped up on Facebook with her unknowingly cast as the ‘before’ model.

Stating her rage, Mrs Cateyes, 31, wrote: ‘They used it to show women what they shouldn’t look like. They used my over the sunglasses expression to say, “Hey, don’t be a fat f*** like me!” which was really supposed to say, “I am a fat confident lady that feels awesome in this bikini.”’

Take it down! Plus-size blogger Rachele Cateyes has told of her horror after finding out that a diet company was using this bikini shot of her without permission to show customers what they ‘don’t want to look like’

Mrs Cateyes claims her image was used by the company Venus Factor, which carries the tagline ‘NEVER Diet Like a Man.’

It currently sells a diet and fitness DVD program specifically designed for women priced at $47 and the website features dozens of photographs showing ‘real user experiences’.

Mrs Cateyes said she felt ‘disgusted’ when she learned that her image was being used in adverts as it goes against everything she stands for.

She said the photograph in question,
which has now been removed, showed her on the beach last July dressed in
a bright blue two-piece swimsuit.

‘They used my photo to show women what they shouldn’t look like and avoid at all financial and health costs’

She uploaded the photograph to her blog, Nearsighted Owl, in a bid to ‘spread a powerful message about body positivity.’

At the time she said she felt ‘glorious and glamorous’ with her ‘stretch marks’ and ‘lumpy thighs’ on display.

On learning that Venus Factor was using the snap without her permission Ms Cateyes launched an appeal via social media and issued numerous complaints.

Eventually, she says she got a response from Venus Factor who told her the photo must have been stolen by one of its third-party ‘affiliates.’

That’s me! The 31-year-old said a work colleague alerted her to the issue after a weight loss advert popped up on Facebook with her unknowingly cast as the ‘before’ model

Courtesy of Rachele Cateyes
Courtesy of Rachele Cateyes

Stating her rage, Mrs Cateyes wrote: ‘They used it to show women what they shouldn’t look like. They used my over the sunglasses expression to say, “Hey, don’t be a fat f*** like me!” which was really supposed to say, “I am a fat confident lady that feels awesome in this bikini.”’

The company’s co-owner Brad Howard,
told Yahoo that he took immediate action to remedy the situation and
adverts with her image have now been taken down.

When situations like this crop up, Mr Howard say all parties become ‘victims.’

‘It’s unfortunate that everyone involved is being dragged through the mud.’

Still,
Venus Factor could be held liable for ‘stealing’ the photo whether the
company was directly responsible or not, according to law professor, Ben
Depoorter because it’s name appears on the spam adverts.

He
says Mrs Cateyes could make a claim of copyright infringement – as it
was her husband who took the shot – or make another on the grounds of
publicity rights.

On her blog Mrs Cateyes states: ‘Double chin, feminism and sass! Rachele is a blogger, artist and fat activist. Buy your fat babe here!’

By law, no one can market your personality or image to sell a product.

‘It’s meant to help celebrities, but it also applies to non-celebrities,’ Mr Deporter explained. ‘It’s just less straightforward than the copyright route because it’s harder to demonstrate harm for a non-celebrity.’

As for Facebook’s role, a spokesperson
from the company told Yahoo that that it forbids anyone from posting
copyrighted content to the site unless they own the rights or are
authorized to share it.

‘Fat bodies are exploited by these
diet companies and it needs to stop. I heard from a plus sized model
that went through it and it really destroyed her’

‘We encourage people who believe their intellectual property rights are being infringed to reach out to the individual posting the content or report it to us using our reporting tools.’

Mrs Cateyes told MailOnline that she believes she is not alone.

‘It’s a shame but it happens all the time.

‘Fat bodies are exploited by these diet companies and it needs to stop. I heard from a plus sized model that went through it and it really destroyed her.’

Giving advice to others in her position, she concluded: ‘First, you are beautiful and didn’t ask for this to happen to you because you are a visible fat person.

‘Anyway you look at it, it’s the fault of the companies responsible and they need to be held accountable and change their practices.

‘And fight like hell. Fat bodies are not public property and you have rights. Diet companies are not going to profit from stealing from us anymore.’


Comments (58)

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The comments below have been moderated in advance.

amy,

sheffield,

1 day ago

Do what if shes a bigger person she looks happy and thats all that matters. Theres so many big people out there getting free gastric bands on the NHS. And yet she is getting slated by people just for being big and posting a photo of herself online. (Which i may say she isn’t the only big person to have ever done that) and now the photo has been stolen by someone and being used! I would be mad too. Wether i was a size 0 or a size 100 i would still be mad! Don’t slate someone for being a bigger person. She could be the nicest person in the world you should never judge someone!!!!

sameoldsameold,

east yorks,

1 day ago

I’m a bit sick of this ” I’m fat and I will continue to tell everybody it’s ok ” because it’s not at all , I don’t want any of my 4 children to become fat , unhealthy and ill in later life , I know it’s damn hard to lose weight sometime s everybody is different but fat is not curvy and obese is NOT ok !!

susyt-89,

Manchester,

1 day ago

As a blogger she definitely would have put a disclaimer at the bottom of her page stating that pictures must not be used without her permission. All us bloggers do, it’s standard practice. This has happened to lots of bloggers LLYMLRS had a picture of her face used on a T-Shirt in America! By a big company too, who should know better. In fact I can recall a few instances of this happening. They don’t care they pay them off then continue to make money. It’s wrong.

Bliss,

Paris, France,

1 day ago

I don’t know which is funnier, her pictures or her name!

Daisy Jones,

San Francisco, United States,

1 day ago

Size 26 , for an, I’m guessing, 5’6″ woman is just so unhealthy. She’s got all that weight pressing on her vital organs.

Rwall,

Edinburgh, United Kingdom,

1 day ago

I’m sick of people like her claiming to promote a healthy body image. YOU ARE NOT. What you are doing is the equivalent of promoting binge drinking or smoking. The effects of your body are devastating. If ypu want to be overweight that’s ypur decision but no need ot glamorise it.

Jan,

London,

1 day ago

Not that difficult surely for the diet co to find a fat Yank who is happy to be paid to allow her photo to be used …

anon,

london,

1 day ago

Don’t want to sound catty but I really wouldn’t want to look like her. Not only because of her weight but that dreadful tattoo…

SouthernBelle,

Baton Rouge, Louisiana,

1 day ago

Online just isn’t safe anymore, I ended up removing all my pictures from the internet because I just didn’t feel safe with it out there on the Internet. Thought she is overweight and she isn’t living a healthy lifestyle, these pages have no right to tear down her character and use her as prop, especially without her permission.

Peggy,

Helsinki, Finland,

1 day ago

Cruel.. :(

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