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Things We Saw Today: Instagram Is Putting New Limits on Posts Pushing Weight Loss Products

A woman's hand holds a smartphone in a pink case.

Instagram is full of celebrities and “influencers” pushing all sorts of products, but one of the most insidious industries dominating the platform is the one pushing weight-loss products on users. Celebrities like Cardi B and most of the Kardashians have all partnered with companies trying to sell their masses of mostly young female followers everything from waist trainers to appetite suppressants to laxatives.

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Instagram is already largely based on presenting an idealized version of reality–adding on such a direct layer of lucrative body-shaming is as cruel as it is manipulative.

Luckily, the site has added on a new set of limitations as to who can see these sponsored weight-loss posts and what they can promise. According to Cosmopolitan“if a post is found to promote the use of certain weight loss products or cosmetic procedures, and has an incentive to buy or includes a price, Instagram will restrict people they know to be under 18 from seeing that post.” And honestly, who could possibly have a problem with high school or younger aged kids seeing ads for laxatives with immediately clickable links? Other than, you know, those profiting off of the endeavor themselves.

Additionally, when a post “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 and will be removed from Instagram.” Sorry, weight-loss visual clickbait.

An Instagram spokesperson told Cosmo, “We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media.” So it’s nice to hear that they’re actually aware of these things and willing to make changes.

  • Kamala Harris was on Fallon this week and a guy in the audience asked her about her views on gun reform. Her answer was great but my 100% favorite part of this video is the guy sulking after while the rest of the audience applauds. (via Twitter)
  • The real life Downton Abbey, aka Highclere Castle, is available to rent on AirBnB … for exactly two people, for one night only. This does not appear to be a contest, and the listing doesn’t go live until October 1st so I can’t tell how much the room(s) will cost for the couple granted the privilege of booking. Still … we can dream. (via CNN)
  • Ooooh, prettttyyyyyyyy

  • It’s #FreeBritneyDay, b*tch. (via LA Times)
  • The first trailer for Netflix’s kid-superpower flick Raising Dion is here and it’s GREAT. (via Polygon)

What did you all see out there on this somehow-still-not-Friday?

(image: Matthew Henry from Burst)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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