Outrage: Lauren Hallden, a product designer from Philadelphia, penned an open letter to Instagram, asking why she sees so many bra and fitspo ads
A woman has penned an open letter to Instagram to vent her frustration at the amount of ads for bras and online workouts she keeps seeing.
Sharing her views on Medium, Lauren Hallden, a 33-year-old product designer from Philadelphia, revealed that she felt compelled to contact the app after a slew of ads for underwear and gym instructors started flooding her feed.
She wrote: ‘Hey Instagram. I was just wondering, does your company collect any user feedback from women?
‘I ask because I am one, and I’ve noticed that my sponsored content is… well, it’s a little repetitive.
‘Kind of one-note.’
Saying that she understands how the algorithm works, that they identified along the way somewhere that she does yoga and wears bras, she shared that the ads were having a ‘triggering’ effect.
Not funny: Lauren also tweeted examples of the kinds of ads that have been flooding her feed
She explained: ‘I’ve started feeling like maybe you don’t realize what being exposed to an endless string of half-naked, extremely thin women is doing to people like me?
‘You know, I mostly just came here to see pictures of my friends’ dogs and kids and sh*t, but every time I fire up the old ‘gram these days, I gotta waste a ton of mental energy comparing myself unfavorably to Kayla, here.’
She was referring to Kayla Itsines in this instance, an Australian personal trainer who offers an online workout program and uses sponsored posts on Instagram to promote both her business and her personal account.
Lauren went on to explain that as a woman who finds this kind of imagery ‘triggering’, she also believes spending a lot of time looking at these kinds of images online is bad for mental health and self-worth.
She also added that the ‘sheer quantity’ of material in her feed ‘says something really depressing about our value as women in the world’.
Trigger: Lauren also shared how seeing fitspo pictures for personal trainers like Kayla Itsines (pictured) have a ‘triggering’ effect
Equality: Lauren asked why so many of the ads aimed at women on Instagram feature ‘partially-naked’ women and asked if men are targeted in the same way
Despite trying to opt out by hiding certain posts, Lauren shared that she felt Instagram was ignoring her requests by sending her ‘slightly different’ pictures of ‘partially-naked’ women instead.
And even though she ‘reviewed’ her Facebook profile to remove information that may have prompted the targeted ads, her bigger concern was why women are receiving these kinds of ads at all.
‘Do men on Instagram contend with this many half-naked dudes and their butts all the time? I really want to know,’ she added.
She signed off with: ‘Well, I gotta go. Wishing you lots of group hugs between skinny white women of similar height; kisses; and an entire closet full of “revolutionary lace bralettes.’