Spend more than five minutes on nearly any social media platform and you’ll most likely come across a weight-loss ad. While it might seem harmless, when someone, especially an impressionable young person, sees enough of these ads it typically has a detrimental effect. Around the world, folks are constantly dealing with body image issues and mental health challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic certainly didn’t help. That’s why Pinterest has just become the first major platform to officially prohibit all ads with weight loss language and imagery.
Pinterest’s New Policy
This news is an expansion on the platform’s already proactive ad policies that have long prohibited body shaming and dangerous weight loss products or claims. The updated policy now bans ads that feature any weight loss language or imagery, testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products, language or imagery that idealizes or denigrates certain body types, and products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin.
Ads promoting healthy lifestyles and habits or fitness services and products will still be allowed on Pinterest, so long as they aren’t focused on weight loss.
The policy change was developed with the guidance and advice of the NEDA (The National Eating Disorders Association).
“The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) applauds Pinterest for taking a leadership position as the first platform to prohibit all ads with weight-loss language and imagery. NEDA is encouraged by this necessary step in prioritizing the mental health and well-being of Pinners, especially those impacted by diet culture, body shaming, and eating disorders. We are hopeful this global policy will encourage other organizations and companies to reflect on potentially harmful ad messages and to establish their own working policies that will create meaningful change,” said Elizabeth Thompson, Interim CEO for the National Eating Disorders Association.
Based on the Facts
While this move is certainly a positive one, there are facts that back it up. Pinners are, in fact, searching for “body neutrality,” which is an emerging search trend from the wellness movement. Plus, they’re even searching for healthy mindset quotes 13x more. If that’s not enough proof for you, searches for both “body neutrality” and “stop body shaming quotes” are up 5x since last year.
To further this movement even more, Pinterest vows to continue providing useful and relevant content for those searching for topics like healthy eating, healthy lifestyle and fitness tips. At the same time, the platform is prohibiting content that displays, rationalizes or encourages eating disorders and other types of self-injury. A statement on the site reads, “whenever Pinners search for keywords related to eating disorders, we block search results and direct them to expert organizations, like NEDA, so they can find additional resources.”
Featured Image: Pinterest Newsroom