Instagram clamp down on detox diet promotions

Kevin O'Meara

Earlier this year The College View covered Jameela Jamil and her campaign to end the duplicitous advertising, promotion, and health claims made by many beauty and diet products.

These products, usually in the form of shakes, gummies, lollipops or teas, and often sporting claims of massive weight loss through ‘detox’ or appetite suppression are essentially just laxatives, and not just completely unregulated, but often dangerous. 

Following Jamil’s ‘i_Weigh’ self-worth campaign, and in consultation with several groups and advocates, this week Instagram announced changes to the way in which these products are promoted. The new rules, which came into immediate effect, prohibit under 18’s seeing any post that’s promoting a product or cosmetic procedure with a price attached.

More importantly, is its change in policy regarding any product with ‘miraculous’ claims – such as those often endorsed by the Kardashians. Jamil had no problem addressing the Kardashians for the promotion of these products on social media earlier this year.

Under these new community guidelines, any post from an influencer showing them sipping tea or sucking a lollipop, claiming they lost X amount of weight through the product alone and offering a discount will be removed immediately. Speaking to ELLE UK ahead of the announcement this week Jamil said: 

“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.”

Jamil has remained refreshingly blunt and honest about her struggles with an eating disorder in her early career and how she struggled with products like the ones discussed. She was also extremely open about her diagnosis earlier this year of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.

EDS is a genetic disorder which affects the production of connective tissue in the body. There is no known cure. Perhaps most importantly though, for women who are constantly bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards, Jamil has used her platform to show the difference between real life and what we are presented in the media.

She often posts unedited photos of herself – be they promotional shots for her critically acclaimed NBC sitcom ‘The Good Place’ (which is about to enter its final season and is Jamil’s first-ever acting role), magazine shoots, or just her everyday life. This is important, she feels;

“Because, in my day, you’d have to search for ages to find this toxic information, but now it finds you because of algorithms that know your age, sex and what you’re into, Therefore it’s the worst it’s ever been. Teenage suicides, eating disorder rates, the amount having cosmetic surgery and committing self-harm – they are all at the highest they’ve ever been. There’s no way this isn’t a correlation with what they’re being exposed to online.”

Kevin O’Meara

Image Credit: Flickr