Pinterest is being celebrated this week for making a move to ban all weight loss ads from their platforms.
In a social media first, the app and site will no longer allow
- Any weight loss language or imagery;
- Any testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products;
- Any language or imagery that idealizes or denigrates certain body types;
- Referencing Body Mass Index (BMI) or similar indexes; and
- Any products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin
This is in addition to previously banned content such as:
- Weight loss or appetite suppressant pills, supplements, or other products;
- Before-and-after weight-loss imagery;
- Weight loss procedures like liposuction or fat burning;
- Body shaming, such as imagery or language that mocks or discredits certain body types or appearances; and
- Claims regarding unrealistic cosmetic results
In a statement from Pinterest, they explained the reason behind the move writing:
“Around the world, people of all ages are facing challenges related to body image and mental health, particularly as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and kick-off the summer season.
“According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), there’s been a steep rise in unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders in young people since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year. Many are now feeling added pressure as they look to rejoin their social circles in person for the first time in 15 months.”
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The statement added that the company encourages other social media apps to do the same.
Why is this so important?
The pressure to lose weight or to look a certain way is extremely high and much of the reason is social media. It’s been suggested for a long time that social media apps like Instagram and TikTok take a stance against unrealistic body expectations by implementing guidelines or banning certain content.
Pinterest have shown that weight loss ads and similar content is not something they want their platform to be associated with.
While it’s so important to be fit and healthy and active, weightloss or specific appearance is not a measure of any of these things.
So when a social media site pushes weight-loss ads or dangerous weight loss techniques, it’s sending a message that the ideal body standard looks a certain way.
When it comes to being fit an healthy, keeping active and eating a balanced diet is the safest and most recommended way to go about this, not body-shaming or dramatic claims and ‘quick’ fixes that really don’t work.
If we change our perception of what it means to be healthy, and understand that it’s not about looking a certain way, changing ourselves or doing something drastic, we can hopefully help to change the pressure in society that many people face, which can seriously impact our mental health.
Here’s hoping companies like Facebook, TikTok and Twitter follow suit.