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Pinterest's Body Type Image Filter Is a Win For Body Positivity

Pinterest just launched "Body Type Ranges," its latest edition in a series of innovative and inclusive search tool filters. The feature gives pinners the option to filter for and select a specific body type to be shown in their women's fashion and wedding search results. The technology works by populating a "visual cue to select between four body type ranges to deliver customized search results that better reflect how [users] see themselves," the brand explained in a statement.

The platform also added the ability to save body type selections for future use if a user selects the same body type range twice when using the search tool. The body search filter comes as the third installment  in a series of inclusive search tools following previously released hair pattern and skin tone range filters.

Beauty, Pinterest, Body positivity, body diversity,
Beauty, Pinterest, Body positivity, body diversity,

The trio of search features are part of Pinterest's wider aim to become "diverse by default," the brand's Chief Product Officer, Sabrina Ellis tells us. Ellis acknowledges that most search platforms initial results aren't widely populating people of color and bigger bodies. Ellis' diversity default aims for Pinners to feel seen, represented and inspired without the need for additional filters or search qualifiers like "plus-size" to garner inclusive results.

While these search filters are a major step to celebrating diversity across the internet, Ellis also brings awareness to the lack of diversity in widespread content that feeds into  platforms like Pinterest. She recalls speaking to advertisers and marketers at a CES trade show and challenging them to, "stop just making your content with skinny white women." She explains that, even with inclusive search tools, a lack of diverse content means fewer results, "We can build all the tools, but if we don't have that material, then I cannot show it." Further, she refuses to lean on AI technology to solely generate and populate the platform with content of diverse bodies and skin tones, stating how wrong it would be to only have that kind of content show up fictionally.

 

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The second aim of Pinterest's tech update is to become a fully shoppable platform. The platform hosts nearly half a billion users on its platform monthly who are mainly shopping and saving content, according to a statement. As part of the newest body search feature, the company will also be featuring shoppable size-inclusive brands like Mara Hoffman, Osei Duro, Gia/iirl and more.

Ellis' goal is to make every pin shoppable through its "shop the look" feature, which would allow users to click on and purchase each individual clothing and accessory item. Especially, now that users can see what the items would look like on their body types.

The body range feature will extend across the platform to men's fashion later this year.

For more on diversity and inclusion in the industry, check out our coverage of an American model's experience with being labeled "mid-sized."