Instagram is taking its responsibility as a major social platform pretty damn seriously right now. The social platform has banned suicidal content, plastic surgery filters, introduced an anti-bullying sticker and ceased the promotion of weight-loss supplements. And now Instagram has changed its guidelines on body image after a skin positivity campaigner challenged the site for removing one of her photos.

Lex Gillies, who has 20,000 followers, uploaded a photo of her rosacea captured by photographer Sophie Harris-Taylor as part of a series celebrating natural beauty.

Bizarrely, the photo was removed by Instagram for being ‘undesirable’, with the platform saying it ‘doesn’t allow ads that focus on aspects of a person’s body to highlight an undesirable or idealised body state’.

After sharing her story with her followers, the hashtag’#undesirablesofinstagram’ quickly went viral as people called on the social network to stop censoring skin conditions. The appeal worked, with Instagram contacting Lex to inform her that guidelines on adverts had been permanently changed.

Taking to Instagram, Lex explained that Instagram has officially rewritten their guidelines, with the word ‘undesirable’ no longer featuring anywhere across the network.⁣

Indeed, according to the new guidelines, the social site doesn’t allow ‘ads that contain unexpected or unlikely results. Ad content must not imply or attempt to generate negative self-perception in order to promote diet, weight loss, or other health related products.’

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📢 WE FLIPPING DID IT!! ⁣📢 ⁣ I can’t really believe I’m saying this, but as of earlier this week Instagram/Facebook have officially rewritten their guidelines. The word ‘undesirable’ no longer features ANYWHERE. ⁣ ⁣ I’ve written a blog post where I’ve tried to express my thoughts on the whole thing but this is the key outtake: ⁣ I wanted to thank every person who posted an #undesirablesofinstagram selfie, who shared my post, used the hashtag, commissioned articles, sent me messages of support, and helped to spread the word.⁣ ⁣ This change happened because of YOU and I am so proud of every single one of you.⁣ ⁣ The #skinpositivity community (and the #rosacea community in particular) is fairly small, so the fact that our campaign has resulted in meaningful change and a reconsideration of terminology internally at one of the world’s most influential companies is incredible and so overwhelming.⁣ Putting your head above the parapet can be scary. There were moments in the past 6 weeks when I wondered why I’d started this, why I’d opened myself up to trolls and ignorance, and whether the eventual impact would be worth the effort. But the support from the community, the new people I’ve discovered through #undesirablesofinstagram, and this actual, tangible result is better than l could have ever imagined.⁣ ⁣ THANK YOU.⁣ ⁣

A post shared by Lex Gillies – Rosacea/Beauty (@talontedlex) on


“I wanted to thank every person who posted an #undesirablesofinstagram selfie, who shared my post, used the hashtag, commissioned articles, sent me messages of support, and helped to spread the word,” wrote Lex.

“This change happened because of YOU and I am so proud of every single one of you.⁣ The #skinpositivity community (and the #rosacea community in particular) is fairly small, so the fact that our campaign has resulted in meaningful change and a reconsideration of terminology internally at one of the world’s most influential companies is incredible and so overwhelming.⁣

“Putting your head above the parapet can be scary. There were moments in the past 6 weeks when I wondered why I’d started this, why I’d opened myself up to trolls and ignorance, and whether the eventual impact would be worth the effort. But the support from the community, the new people I’ve discovered through #undesirablesofinstagram, and this actual, tangible result is better than l could have ever imagined.⁣”

We couldn’t agree more.

Speaking about the groundbreaking move, GLAMOUR’s Social Editor, Chloe Laws, said: “Photographs, videos, and hashtags of skin diseases are constantly removed on Instagram on grounds that it looks ‘undesirable’, a restriction that is entrenched in unrealistic beauty standards and stigma. As someone who has psoriasis, and uses Instagram as a space to increase awareness, when I heard that Lex’s photo of her bare face was removed I was incensed.

“The #undesirablesofinstagram movement shows the power we have on social media, and that the restrictions placed upon us can be overthrown. There’s a way to go, of course, but in recent years campaigners have really shaped the social media landscape – from pro-anorexia accounts being banned, to this new landmark. Next up – the sexual liberation of Instagram, please. When will we *finally* be able to show our nipples?”





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