Pinterest’s New Body Type Filter Raises Questions

pinterest body type search filter showing women of various sizes
Pinterest 2mProject/Shutterstock WinWin artlab/Shutterstock

Pinterest released a new ‘body type’ search filter on March 11, but there are some lingering questions about the feature.

In theory, the tool’s premise is innovative. It uses AI to identify and categorize the 3.5 billion body types on the platform. Then, it narrows it down to just four specific body size ranges. 

Using the feature, which is currently in the US and for women only, is pretty straightforward. You just type something like “autumn outfits” into the search bar and then select one of the four body types in question. According to Pinterest, using this search tool led to a 66% higher engagement rate.

Pinterest says in a press release it will roll out the feature more broadly later in 2024. This includes expanding it to men’s fashion and international markets. Pinterest already has search filters for skin tone and hair patterns.

The new body type tool can potentially help users find size-inclusive clothing or fashion tailored toward larger bodies. But there are already signs that it might face some challenges in practice.

One user notes how, despite their attempts, it’s difficult to find a large range of size diversity for certain fashion types, like grunge.

“They aren’t, like, SKINNY skinny but I’m still bigger than the majority even though I’m the same size as the example pics,” they wrote. “Kinda wanted to see how these styles might look on me.”

As well as the tool potentially illuminating a lack of size representation for certain style niches on Pinterest, there is also the concern that the feature can be used for fatphobic purposes — like filtering out heavier-set bodies entirely. 

But these concerns aside, Sabrina Ellis, Pinterest’s Chief Product Officer, remains confident in the tool’s effects.

“Pinterest is a visual discovery platform, and we want users to be able to see themselves reflected in their search results,” she said in a press release. “Body type ranges increase representation on the platform and give Pinterest users more intentional choice and control over what they see.”

What do you think of this new body size search tool from Pinterest? Email [email protected] to share your thoughts.

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