Content warning: discussion of fatphobia in advertising
Practically overnight, my ads on Instagram went from annoying but benign reminders of capitalism to an utterly dehumanizing nightmare. Suddenly, every third or fourth photo of my friends' latest adventures with their kids, pets, and travels near and far was punctuated with liposuction ads.
Effective immediately, I've stopped reading and posting to Instagram because I refuse to subject myself to repeated messages pushing a potentially deadly procedure because people fear my "unruly" body.
Honestly, I'm disappointed that I've held out for so long here. I've spent a painful amount of time tweaking Instagram's advertising algorithm before by "hiding" ads and blocking accounts so it would stop showing me shapewear and diet apps - something I should never have had to do in the first place. Plus, hatred of fat bodies like mine has always been rampant on Instagram: many highly successful influencers' platforms are rooted in fatphobia, often directly.
I've previously delayed leaving Instagram because I knew I would lose social connections to people I care about, and I will grieve the connections I'm sure to lose. At the end of the day, the responsibility to create a safe platform for people no matter what body they inhabit should not be overwhelmingly borne by the people it harms.