Pinterest, the picture-led social media platform that allows users to create and share mood boards, is saying goodbye to all weight-loss related ads, imagery and language, becoming the first major platform to do so.
Ads promoting diets or slimming products will be removed from the platform as the company joins a broader body-positivity movement. This includes any content that idealises or puts down certain body types.
Such advertisements usually promote ways to ‘fix’ one’s body, implying that there is something wrong with an individual’s physical appearance. This impacts their mental and emotional health.
For instance, given how the algorithm works, a new mom could be bombarded with weight-loss ads right after giving birth, affecting her self esteem during a vulnerable time. Such ads promote diet culture which is a lot more toxic than we realise.
Weight-loss testimonials have also been prohibited on the platform. However, the ban does not apply to promotion of a healthy lifestyle, habits and products as long as they do not “focus on weight loss”. Pinterest users, or ‘Pinners’ will still be able to search for topics such as weight-loss advice and healthy-eating tips.
The move comes as more than 60% of Pinterest users globally are female, many of whom are directly impacted by issues such as eating disorders, diet culture and body shaming.
Of course Pinterest isn’t the only one with such policies. Both Instagram and Facebook banned ads for ‘miracle’ diets and weight-loss products in 2019, while Snapchat has ad policies that ban side-by-side, before-and-after images but only of certain body parts instead of the entire body. Pinterest is the first to ban these ads completely.
Twitter, by contrast, does not have any ad policies specifically related to weight loss, dieting or fitness.