Pinterest announced on Thursday, July 1st, it’s banning all weight loss ads, becoming the first major platform to do so. The policy update comes as the digital pinboard is looking to promote body acceptance amid a recent rise in eating disorders.
Pinterest has already had some policies that prohibited body shaming and dangerous slim-down products. Now, the image bookmarking site no longer allows any advertisements that idealize or denigrate certain body types. This includes weight loss language or imagery and testimonials about it. Advertisers are also no longer able to post anything related to Body Mass Index (BMI).
There’s also a reason why the social network is updating its policy right now. As the summer kicks in and COVID-19 social distancing restrictions relax, the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) is witnessing a rise in eating disorders and unhealthy eating habits.
Pinterest went even further and prompted other platforms to follow suit. “We encourage others in the industry to do the same and acknowledge, once and for all, that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all,” the company said in a press release.
Weight loss has been a widely discussed topic on the internet for quite some time, and Pinterest isn’t the only platform to promote body neutrality. Both Facebook and Instagram also have some policies against “miracle” diets and weight-loss products. However, the digital pinboard is the first one to ban such posts completely.
Pinterest also leads the way in prohibiting harmful messages. It restricts ads for drugs, tobacco, illegal services, adult content, endangered species, and excessively offensive language. When searching for keywords related to suicide, eating disorders, and other mental health concerns, you are redirected to recovery resources.
Body positivity is a global movement. And since 80% of Pinterest’s new users aren’t from the US, its stance is likely to affect millions of people around the world.
Without weight loss imagery and similar content, global Pinterest users will find it easier to accept their appearance. Then, they can address any weight issues for non-aesthetic reasons using apps like Noom and Weight Watchers.