Content warning: talk of diet, exercise, weight loss, eating disorders, etc.
It’s no secret that we spend a lot of time on our phones, especially social media. Instagram in particular has taken over the world by storm, and you can find pretty much anything you want on the app. That being said, you can also find things on Instagram that may be triggering, or that you don’t want to see.
Susie DiResta started this petition to have Instagram allow users to block triggering content, specifically content about diet and weight loss. Here at Bold, we refrain from discussion around these topics in part because we know it can be severely triggering, but also because we believe in fat liberation. All bodies are good bodies. We don’t believe that shrinking one’s body makes them “better” or “healthier.”
In the world of social media, you can get caught up in constant comparison. Beyond that, you can stumble on content that makes you feel like you are not enough, and can trigger you in a way that does more harm than good. It’s easy to unfollow content creators on Instagram that fill your feed with diet and weight loss conversations, but how do you unfollow an ad? Instagram supplies us with copious amounts of ads for things the algorithm thinks we might like – but is there a way to stop it?
In the past, Instagram has blocked ads from showing diet content to users under the age of 18. Shouldn’t there be an option then to stop these kinds of ads from running to anyone? Or at the very least, an option to block triggering ad content. Thus, when Bold came across DiResta’s petition, we thought it was important to raise awareness about it.
Editor’s Note: At Bold, we do not judge anyone’s choice to participate in a diet/exercise plan. That choice is highly personal. But we do pride ourselves on offering our community as an alternative to diet culture and weight loss chatter, because we know how damaging those conversations can be. We are supporting this petition because we believe that everyone deserves the right to engage in social media in a way that feels safe for them. We feel strongly that giving Instagram users the option to avoid upsetting images and messages is the right thing to do. We respect and appreciate you all.