Pinterest is becoming the first major tech company to ban all weight loss advertisements from its platform, prohibiting ads with language and imagery about weight loss, in a move that will likely only slightly lessen the large number of harmful messages on major social media platforms.
According to Adweek, the policy was developed with National Eating Disorders Association and will specifically ban weight loss language or imagery, testimonials regarding weight loss, ads that denigrate or idealize certain body types, references to the BMI, and products that claim weight loss can be achieved through something applied to the skin.
The policy change doesn’t address users’ boards, many of which have millions of followers and still promote body shaming and diet culture, with boards specifically devoted to “skinny people,” “skinny secrets,” and “weight loss.”
Despite the proliferation of diet culture already on Pinterest, the move comes after the company found that users have been searching more for “body neutrality,” “healthy mindset quotes,” and “stop body shaming quotes.” Searches for “self-love illustration art” has increased 63x.
“Pinterest is all about providing inspiration. A critical part of that discovery process is making a safe space for Pinners to express themselves, which is why we’re proud to enact a ban on all weight loss, dieting and body shaming ads,” said Aya Kanai, Pinterest’s head of content, in a statement to NYLON.
As part of the change, plus-size model and influencer Tabria Majors, Shiquita Hyman, Tiffan Ima and Alex Michael May will be sharing pins on the Today Tab about body neutrality.
“The body neutrality conversations that are happening now online are a great way to promote acceptance, but we still continue to see unsolicited messaging about our bodies,” said Majors in a statement. “From magic weight loss pills, to extreme diet plans and imagery that body shames, it’s difficult to escape these damaging messages I challenge daily. That’s why I’m so happy to partner with Pinterest in their efforts to become the first major platform to ban all ads with weight loss language and imagery.”