Pinterest bans weight loss ads, promotes 'body acceptance'
"We want to champion content that celebrates body neutrality and acceptance."
Pinterest has made a powerful decision to no longer display weight loss ads, language or imagery.
The decision to ban such ads falls under the popular image-sharing platform's aim to continually expand its current policies that prohibit body shaming, the company said.
Pinterest's policies were already against any promotion of dangerous weight loss products or claims.
Since sharing the news on Instagram, Pinterest has received a lot of praise and expressions of relief from users who say they are excited about the updated policy.
One Instagram user, for example, commented about how the weight loss-related ads on Pinterest had fueled her disordered eating as a teen.
"I am almost in tears that this is happening," said Jenn Baswick. "Thank you on behalf of me, a very happy (now) dietitian and for all the lives you'll be preventing diet culture from impacting negatively! Love to see it."
"Pinterest is committed to building a safe and inspiring space for all our users," the platform said in its post. "That means looking at ways we can evolve our policies for the better. We want to champion content that celebrates body neutrality and acceptance, so you can focus on finding inspiration to create a life you love."
The company's latest policy change was developed with guidance from the nonprofit National Eating Disorders Association, which recently said that it had seen an increase in calls to its helpline since the start of the pandemic.
The platform also said that it had found searches related to body neutrality emerge as a search trend as many Pinners look to discover self-acceptance. In a blog post, the company said, "'Healthy mindset quotes' have been up in search 13x more, and both 'body neutrality' and 'stop body-shaming quotes' are also up 5x since last year."
To further support Pinterest's latest initiatives, the company is working with Pinterest creators, such as plus-size models and social media personalities, including Tabria Majors, Shiquita Hyman, Tiffany Ima and Alex Michael May. They all will be sharing Idea Pins on the platform's "Today Tab" to represent positive themes, like body neutrality, and showcase what it means to them and how we are reimagining the relationships with our bodies.
"Diet culture and weight loss has always been a hot topic and more often than not has negative effects on our mental health," said Majors in an Instagram post. "We need to ensure that if someone wants to change their lifestyle, it's their choice and not as a result of being influenced by harmful messaging."
She continued, "The journey to self-love isn't easy, but this is certainly a way that helps. I hope that other brands follow in Pinterest's footsteps."
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or NationalEatingDisorders.org.
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