Jameela Jamil Helped Instagram Create a New Policy On the Promotion of Weight-Loss Products
Unhealthy weight-loss products like "appetite suppressant lollipops" and "detox teas" have been popping up all over Instagram thanks to celebrities and influencers promoting them as #ads. But as of this week, you might begin to notice a steady decline in these posts. The social media platform just rolled out new community guidelines on the promotion of diet and weight-loss products. (Related: This Badass Trainer Speaks Out After Instagram Deleted a Photo of Her Cellulite)
Moving forward, Instagram posts that promote the "use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures and those that have an incentive to buy or includes a price," will only be shown to users over 18, according to CNN. Plus, any content that includes "miraculous" claims about certain diet or weight-loss products, and is linked to offers like discount codes, will no longer be allowed on the platform.
That's not all: Over the next few weeks, Instagram will start giving users the option to report posts that violate these new guidelines to ensure that as many people as possible are held accountable. In fact, it appears the policy is already affecting certain posts.
Instagram's new policy has been a long time coming, and it seems like it's partly a result of actress Jameela Jamil's crusade against the diet/detox industry.
For the past few years, Jamil has been dragging celebs—including the Kardashians, Cardi B, and Amber Rose—for promoting unhealthy weight-loss products to their followers. To counter their promotion of negative body image, Jamil founded the iWeigh movement on Instagram, which features women sharing how they really measure their worth. Spoiler: It has nothing to do with how much they weigh according to the scale, or their jeans size. (Related: Jameela Jamil Shares What Being Featured In British Vogue Means to Her)
Because of Jamil's diligence for this cause, Instagram consulted with the actress on its new guidelines, according to CNN. The platform also worked with youth specialists and experts like Ysabel Gerrard, Ph.D., a lecturer in digital media and society at the University of Sheffield, to create this policy.
In an interview with Elle UK, Jamil shared why these guidelines are so important, especially for impressionable young women.
"It sets the tone that this is not ok in our society," she said. "We have hyper-normalized 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."
"For huge corporations, who are the main access points for these companies to sell their products to young people over the internet—to say they don't condone this sends out a huge ripple across the earth," Jamil added. "It says that if giant corporations are willing to take a stand against this then it must be really serious."
But while this new policy will make it much harder for brands and influencers to promote certain weight-loss products, apparently it won't stop it from happening altogether. According to Elle UK: "If an influencer posts a picture of themselves sipping diet tea, promoting their discount code, and telling their followers how they managed to lose 10 pounds rapidly solely due to the tea, it will be removed for violating the new community guidelines."
This means people can still technically say that they lost a considerable amount of weight over an ambiguous period of time by incorporating the product into their lifestyle or routine. Basically, as long as it's a less obvious lie, it will seemingly comply with Instagram's new rules.
To some degree, though, the responsibility lies with consumers. Jamil, for instance, suggests taking control and making your Instagram a more positive space. "Curate your space," she told Elle UK. "Just like as in your personal life, you have to do that online." (Related: These Aussie BFFs Created a Body-Positive Instagram Account to Fight Online Trolls)
Jamil of course already leads by example: "I don’t follow models, people who sell weight-loss products, or anyone who makes me feel bad about the way I look, live my life or if I have enough money," she told Elle UK. "Anyone who makes me feel bad about myself or my life I mute, block or delete. You have the power; we've become used to thinking we have to follow these people who lie to us, don't care about us or our physical or mental health, they just want our money."