Jameela Jamil is a lot of things, but lately the I Weigh founder has made a name for herself as active spokesperson for body positivity and normalising what for so long were considered flaws.
Candid about having an eating disorder when she was younger, Jameela has focused her attention on diet products, whether packaged in a tea, a shake or an appetite-supressing lollipop – yes, that’s a real thing! – and called out celebrities who promote them. Aside from criticising these products for influencing yet another generation of young girls to believe their worth is anchored to their weight, she makes a point of highlighting the health risks.
After launching a change.org petition to stop celebrities promoting these diet products on social media, which was signed by around 250,000 people, she met with Instagram over her concerns, resulting in an overhaul of their policies. In a recent press release, Instagram announced that it is committed to maintaining a platform where people can express themselves, feel part of a community and feel inspired by the people that they follow.
Earlier this year the platform introduced a number of measures to help address these topics, which includes a set of tools to help users manage their time more effectively, as well as testing the removal of likes - designed to help people focus on what they share rather than how many likes something gets.
As part of this ongoing work we have also given a lot of thought to the impact that the promotion of products on Instagram such as diet teas, supplements and certain cosmetic surgery can have, and what more we can do to proactively make Instagram a more positive place, the company said in a statement.
Instagram will begin rolling out a new policy focused on weight loss products and certain cosmetic procedures across Instagram and Facebook.
When users see content they are unhappy with and report it, the following actions will be taken in line with the new policy:
Restrict: If a post promotes the use of certain weight loss products or cosmetic procedures, and has an incentive to buy or includes a price, users known to be under 18 will be restricted from seeing that post
Remove: When the content makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code, it will no longer be allowed under the Community Guidelines and it will be removed from Instagram
Instagram’s advertising policies have never actually allowed for the promotion of these products and now an extra step is being taken to address the growing trend of influencer marketing and organic content.
Jameela says, “This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/detox industry. Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online, sends an important message out to the world. I’m thrilled to have been able to work towards this with them, alongside a host of other experts who shed light on the danger of these products. Instagram were supportive and helpful when I brought them my protests and petitions, they listened, they cared, they moved so efficiently, and communicated with us throughout the process. As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for most of my youth, I’ve personally known and suffered the perils of the devious side of the diet/detox industry. A focus of our advocacy since inception, it is a proud day for I Weigh and a day of hope for our generation, who deserve respect and protection from the celebrities and influencers that they follow.”