Instagram to Regulate Posts Promoting Diet Products and Cosmetic Surgery

Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. endorse / ɛnˈdɔrs / (v) – to publicly promote or support something or someone

    The singer endorses weight-loss products.

  2. restrict / rɪˈstrɪkt / (v) – to limit something

    The government restricts the sale of firearms and explosives.

  3. take down (something) / teɪk daʊn / (phrasal) – to remove something from its previous position or place

    The public demanded that he take down his insulting post from the social media site.

  4. abide by / əˈbaɪd baɪ / (phrasal) – to accept or follow a rule or agreement

    To avoid penalties, you should abide by the new regulation.

  5. backlash / ˈbækˌlæʃ / (n) – a negative reaction or comment on something

    The singer received backlash from the public after the cancellation of her shows.


Read the text below.

Photo sharing platform Instagram has imposed stricter rules on posts endorsing diet products and cosmetic surgery.

Under the new rules, certain weight-loss and cosmetic surgery contents that offer discounts will be restricted to users registered below 18 years of age. In addition, posts that advertise “miracle” weight-loss products or those promising instant weight-loss effects will be taken down. Instagram users can also report posts that do not abide by these new rules.

An Instagram representative said that the platform decided to implement the new rules to provide a positive environment for its users and lessen the pressure to look perfect.

Previously, several studies have found that frequent use of social media platforms like Instagram might be causing some mental health illnesses and eating disorders among teenagers and young adults. Advocates of body positivity—the movement that promotes acceptance of the body no matter the size or shape—also blame Instagram for the increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery among young people.

Dr. Ysabel Gerrard, a University of Sheffield professor, expects a backlash from companies offering weight-loss products and cosmetic surgery following the implementation of the new rules. However, she believes these companies must really advertise responsibly and prioritize people’s safety, especially since social media content can influence how people perceive their bodies.

Actress Jameela Jamil celebrated the move of Instagram and praised the platform for trying to protect the physical and mental well-being of its users. Jamil has previously criticized other celebrities who promoted unhealthy weight-loss products. She also started the “I Weigh” campaign that encourages people to be happy and positive about their bodies.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Instagram’s new policy restricting diet and cosmetic surgery content is a good idea? Why or why not?
• What is the impact of the new regulations on companies that sell diet products or provide cosmetic surgery? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Aside from using social media, what are other ways to promote body positivity (e.g. school campaigns, TV ads)? Discuss.
• In your opinion, is advocating for body positivity a good cause? Why or why not?
Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment