by Rosie Deacon
You’re scrolling on your phone, TikTok is draining, and Instagram is boring, so you switch over to Pinterest. You tap on the red and white P and suddenly you’re sucked into a world of perfectly curated images.
Pinterest is often praised as the ‘inspirational’ app, used for planning out your dream life in an attempt to escape mundane reality. It offers self-care ideas, workout plans, tattoo inspo, travel goals, and puppies in the form of edited and aesthetic images. Scrolling the endless pit is fun, it’s planning outfits, saving inspirational quotes, and creating niche boards of crochet patterns. The list is endless, but despite all these possibilities, my feed is always full of skinny bodies that don’t look like mine.
As a Pinterest enthusiast, I can confidently say that I use Pinterest almost every day, and love using it. But I can’t help but wonder, where are the plus sized people?
A recent TikTok come Instagram Reels trend highlights this perfectly, being mid-size and plus-size people recreating popular outfit inspo on Pinterest. Using the picture’s focal ‘skinny’ model wearing a cute outfit, the mid/plus size creators show what it would look like on their body.
But on Pinterest video is uncommon, making it limited to mostly pictures that creators post. Anyone can post on Pinterest, so it's not necessarily the app's fault, but why don’t different bodies post on there?
It seems that most of the creators are ‘skinny’ women, emphasising just how mine and lots of other women’s bodies are not represented on Pinterest. The plus/mid size creators are rather on Instagram and TikTok, focusing their brand towards video form content. Why are still images just not appealing to the relatable influencers?
Perhaps this relatability is the very problem, with Pinterests innate curated aesthetic their content becomes too glossy. More needs to be done to welcome mid and plus sized creators to the platform.
As a start, in 2021, Pinterest made the step to ban weight loss Ad’s - a huge move towards reducing the culture of the ‘skinny aesthetic’.
Noted by cosmopolitan, “Pinterest has officially updated its weight-loss ad policy to prohibit all ads with weight-loss language and imagery. From now on, there will be no more testimonials regarding weight loss or weight-loss products, language or imagery that idealises or denigrates certain body types, or references to body mass index.”
And, while it’s a step that no other social media site has taken and I’m no longer bombarded with ads on how to ‘lose 2 stone in these five simple steps!.’ I am still not seeing diverse body types on my feed without having to search on the search bar for ‘mid size outfit inspo.’
Manne, in her novel ‘Unshrinking: How to Fight Fatphobia,’ details the importance of tackling fatphobia in all areas of society. But most importantly internalised fatphobia within ourselves. She states: “fatphobia harms people with regard to their education, their labour, their health, and their reproductive freedom.”
So, it’s not only important to represent different body types to make us feel good about ourselves, but representation also impacts education and the workplace for mid size and plus size people. Pinterest needs to be a space that displays a diverse set of bodies, so what should it do next to increase this?
Pinterest seems to exist in a space of positivity, living in this world of aesthetic bedrooms and cool outfits, that does not reflect reality but the one we wish could live in. It’s time to idealise finally loving and appreciating your bodies, no matter what they look like.
Edited by Emily Duff