British actor and presenter Jameela Jamil is known for her role on the US television series “The Good Place,” and for her long-running campaign against weight loss products, and after years of campaigning, she has won a victory in her long running crusade.
The actress has been campaigning to regulate the selling and promotion of weight loss products, and cosmetic procedures on social media and has just won a major victory.
As from September 18th, Instagram will begin rolling out a new policy focused on detox teas, diet pills, and appetite-suppressing lollipops.
Under the new rules, if a post promotes a weight loss product or cosmetic procedure and it has a price tag fixed to it, users who are under 18 will be prohibited from viewing the post.
The move also bans any content that makes a “miraculous claim” about diet or weight loss products. So, for example, if an influencer posts a picture of themselves sipping diet tea, promoting their discount code, and telling their followers how they managed to lose weight quickly solely because of the tea, it will be removed for violating the new community guidelines.
Jameela said she was “thrilled about the changes,” and “excited that corporations, who hold the power monopoly, are putting their foot down.
“It sets the tone that this is not ok in our society. We have hyper-normalised flogging nonsense to young impressionable people. These people are selling hair growth gummies but wearing extensions or photoshopping themselves to look slimmer and selling a weight loss shake. There are so many lies being told, and we’ve accepted that as a cultural norm.”
The Instagram account i-weigh founder Jameela has frequently called out celebrities and influencers who have promoted diet products, by blasting the lack of scientific evidence behind their claims, as well as subconscious messaging for followers to change themselves. She has also used her own experience of having an eating disorder when she was growing up to remind people of the devastating effects of this constant messaging.
After “The Good Place” actress launched a petition to ‘Stop Celebrities Promoting Toxic Diet Products on Social Media, ’ (The petition was signed by more than 250,000 people), she met with Instagram, who were also concerned by such advertising.
Instagram says they listened to campaigners, while also encouraging community feedback, speaking to youth specialists and working with experts to formulate this policy change.
While many are applauding Instagram’s new policy, many believe that the ban should go beyond the age of 18. In relation to this topic, Instagram say they did not want the new measures to branch into censorship. They said it was all about protecting young people. The new regulation is in line with several changes the platform has made in the last several years to curtail the pressure associated with social media, for example introducing screen time limits and testing removing the “ like” function in some countries.
Over the next few weeks, Instagram will roll out an additional function so you can report a post if you think it violates the new guidelines.