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The IG Account That Convinced Instagram To Restrict Cosmetic Surgery and Weight Loss Ads

About a month ago, Instagram announced harsh measures for the accounts posting and promoting weight loss products and cosmetic surgeries. In a move that would likely cost influencers and companies some pretty bucks, Instagram chose to ban any and all posts that made “miraculous claims” about weight loss and diet products and that incentivized such products with an appealing discount code or free trial.

Also, users under 18 would no longer see such posts, especially if they are accompanied by a price or offer. It’s true, Instagram never allowed such content as part of their in-app ad service but that didn’t mean influencers and celebrities couldn’t endorse or promote it.

One such example were the suppressant lollies Kim Kardashian-West posted as sponsored content a while ago. Those appeared in three separate posts, gathering a hefty amount of likes, until Instagram deleted them at their users’ requests.

However, that was the exception, not the rule. Plus, it only happened at the pressure of users – otherwise, Instagram would have probably let them be.

So, why now? What happened to make Instagram act?

The “I Weigh” movement.

An initiative by Jameela Jamil, whom you may know from the TV series “The Good Place”, “I Weigh” wants to empower all individuals to find their worth in their achievements, contributions to society and first and foremost, character traits, rather than their physical attributes.

Jamil told Jimmy Fallon how, about six months ago, she created a petition regarding this subject. In just three days, it garnered 250,000 signatures, enough to show Instagram that their users needed to remove such toxicity from their lives.

Instagram reacted.

“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,” Jameela Jamil said.

“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.”

Jamil is no stranger to society pressure and weight loss struggles herself. She battled an eating disorder in her youth and therefore, can understand the dangers of the diet industry and the rotten appeal of such promotional posts to young people.   

 
 
 
 
 
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I wish I’d known this when I was an anorexic teenager 💔

A post shared by Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamilofficial) on

Although Jamil has encountered skepticism for her activism, considered many times “too pretty to speak up”, the actress hasn’t backed down. Over and over again, she took the talk not just to social media channels, but to online publications and live TV.  

In time, the I Weigh account grew to almost 900,000 followers. Posts include pictures from community members with words that describe their personality, beliefs and impact on the world around them.

The account seems to bring together souls, rather than bodies, ideals and ideas that we haven’t seen outside of a book’s pages in a while. It’s reassuring to find them again on a platform with such an extensive reach – over 1 billion monthly users.

Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes “an army” (which Instagram has) and a voice like Jameela’s to put a spotlight on harmful content and fight for self-empowerment.

Taking the lead, however, is not just the prerogative of the many or the famous. Each of us can contribute to a less judgmental world, where acceptance and support are the norm, and where making one’s own choices is something to be celebrated, not encumbered.

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