Instagram Has A New Policy Against Weight Loss Promotions
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Health and Wellness

Instagram's New Rule Restricting Weight Loss Product Promotions Won't Stop The Problem

Because young girls know they don't need Instagram to learn all about Flat Tummy Teas...

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Instagram's New Rule Restricting Weight Loss Product Promotions Won't Stop The Problem

Let me preface with this — Instagram's new rule prohibiting the promotion of weight loss products to anyone under 18 years of age is 100 percent good in its intention and a step in the right direction for sure. In fact, it's a huge move amongst social media platforms and deserves positive recognition.

With that being said, I think it's important to point out and remind everyone that not letting Khloe Kardashian post herself drinking Flat Tummy Tea isn't going to stop young women on Instagram from figuring out the newest (and unhealthiest) ways to lose weight.

Again, while Instagram's effort to put an end to the promotion of these unhealthy, and many times dangerous, products, it's going to take a lot more than that to instill real mental and physical wellness into the hearts and minds of the target audience for harmful diet products.

Let's start with the root of the problem: young girls all over the world are being told how they should look and what they need to do to achieve the "ideal" body.

In today's social media culture where people are editing themselves more than ever before and presenting various "miracle claims" about the products they use, girls are attempting to shadow exactly what their favorite celebrities and influencers are promoting in hopes of obtaining the same results (even though those "results" are usually edited photos). Instagram Public Policy Manager Emma Collins says that the Instagram community "has been thinking a lot about the relative pressure to look or behave a certain way and what that might mean for people using Instagram." It's important to note that Instagram's executives are definitely aware of the role social media plays in diet culture.

Will this stop young girls from finding the appetite-suppressing lollipops that Kim Kardashian has been promoting? Probably not.

Our society holds the female body to such a standard that young women will go above and beyond simple Instagram ads to find the "quickest" ways to burn fat. Instead of banning the promotion of these products, there needs to be an influx of influencers, like Jameela Jamil, who speak out against these negative behaviors. A mindset of true health and body positivity needs to be instilled in our generation and the younger generations that have and will continue to fall into this trap.

How do we instill mindsets? In this day and age, it's mostly through online influencing. Ironic, huh? The same mechanism that's leading our youth into taking part in such negative behaviors is the same one that can inspire them to think and act differently.

Here's the catch — everyone with a platform needs to recognize the problem and do what they can to fix it and speak out against it. They have to be responsible for the audience that they have. It's not that these same influencers need to promote products that aren't detrimental to one's body instead, but they need to promote the mindsets and ideologies that fight against those encouraging rapid weight loss and crash diets, exactly like Jameela Jamil is doing with her "I Weigh" movement.

Anyone with a platform has the ability to lead by example. Instagram is doing this by creating the new policy, but those who have made this policy necessary are the same people who have the power to make a positive change in the world of body image. In today's society, when an ideal "social norm" is skipping multiple meals a week, it's important that we acknowledge the importance of this new policy, but not rely on it to make a change because I guarantee that it won't put an end to these fads.

So, let's support Instagram's intention and work to instill a new mindset of proper wellness in young women all over the world.

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