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Instagram is pushing back against posts that promote toxic diet culture and plastic surgery with tighter restrictions.
As a part of its new policy, the social media platform announced that users under 18 will be restricted from seeing posts that advertise weight loss products or cosmetic surgery. The platform will also outright ban any post that makes “a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products.” The new rule will also apply to Facebook.
Influencer culture has driven an increase in the promotion of diet products, including detox teas, diet pills and shakes, and “appetite-suppressing” lollipops, among others.
Those concerned with the impact toxic diet culture is having on young people are hailing Instagram’s new policy as a step in the right direction.
“A HUGE DAY! A MAJOR STEP IN THE FIGHT WITH THE DIRTY SIDE OF THE DIET/DETOX INDUSTRY!!! Influencers best watch yourselves,” actress and founder of I Weigh–a body positive platform–Jameela Jamil wrote on Twitter.
A HUGE DAY! A MAJOR STEP IN THE FIGHT WITH THE DIRTY SIDE OF THE DIET/DETOX INDUSTRY!!! Influencers best watch yourselves... https://t.co/F4iPTyVGU4— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) September 18, 2019
Jamil has been at the forefront in the fight against diet product promotion on social media, and she isn’t afraid to call influencers out for doing so. Last year, she called out Kim Kardashian for promoting “appetite suppressant lollipops” and took action by launching a petition to “Stop Celebrities Promoting toxic Diet Products On Social Media.”
No. Fuck off. No. You terrible and toxic influence on young girls. I admire their mother’s branding capabilities, she is an exploitative but innovative genius, however this family makes me feel actual despair over what women are reduced to. ☹️ pic.twitter.com/zDPN1T8sBM— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) May 16, 2018
“BYE BENCHES. Greedy influencers who push toxic products, will have to find another way to scam the innocent people who follow them, because we are shutting this shit down today,” she tweeted about Instagram’s new policy.
BYE BENCHES. Greedy influencers who push toxic products, will have to find another way to scam the innocent people who follow them, because we are shutting this shit down today. (Literally) 💩 https://t.co/apXgBekLxu— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) September 18, 2019
Eating disorders and body image issues found in young girls and women have long been linked to social media.
“This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/detox industry,” Jamil told the Guardian. “Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online sends an important message out to the world.”
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H/T the Guardian
Tiffanie Drayton is a geek culture and lifestyle reporter whose work covers everything from gender and race to anime and Xbox. Her work has appeared in Complex, Salon, Marie Claire, Playboy, and elsewhere.