7 September 2023
Today, Pinterest is introducing a new body type technology to its suite of inclusive AI innovations—a first-of-its-kind technology that uses shape, size and form to identify various body types in over five billion images on the platform. Pinterest is leveraging this body type technology, and previously launched skin tone technology, to shape how its algorithms increase representation across related feeds and search results for women’s fashion and wedding-related content. These inclusive AI efforts are helping to make Pinterest a more positive place online—a place where everyone can see themselves reflected.
When you don’t feel represented, it’s hard to feel inspired. Since 2018, Pinterest has set industry-leading standards on products and policies that promote a positive, diverse and inclusive experience. From creating technologies that detect and give users the tools to refine results by skin tone range and hair pattern, to integrating skin tone ranges into the ‘Try on for beauty’ tool for lipsticks and eyeshadows, Pinterest has been intentional in its efforts to create a positive, inclusive and—above all—inspiring place on the internet.
Inspired by user behaviour and the culturally critical discussion around body representation, Pinterest’s inclusive product team partnered with experts inside and outside of Pinterest to develop a body type technology that uses shape, size and form to identify body types in images. With this enhanced understanding of visual content using computer vision technology, Pinterest has shaped its algorithms to increase representation of both body type and skin tone across search results and related Pins. For example, if a user searches for ‘date night outfit inspiration’, they will see results inclusive of various body types and skin tone ranges.
At Pinterest, we believe that inspiration begins with inclusion. That’s why we continue to develop inclusive product experiences that make it easier to find the best ideas that feel made for you. With the powerful addition of our new body type technology to our suite of inclusive AI efforts, we have improved representation of different body types on the platform by 5x across women’s fashion related searches in the US2.
— Sabrina Ellis, Chief Product Officer, Pinterest
Pinterest works closely with external organisations, experts and users when creating new technologies, policies and pledges to inspire the most meaningful societal impact. Over the last year, Pinterest partnered with US organisation National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), model and size advocate Tess Holliday, and Pinterest creators Natalie Craig, Kellie Brown and Stefany Brito to consult on the plus-size community’s needs. Their feedback and insights were invaluable in shaping the product development of Pinterest’s body type technology.
At NAAFA, we’ve worked for over 50 years to protect the rights of fat people and to improve quality of life for people with bigger bodies. Through this work, we know that social media spaces can be especially hard for larger people. Trolls are relentless — especially to fat women who dare to wear anything other than baggy black clothing — but Pinterest has always been safer and more welcoming than many other online spaces. Working with Pinterest to ensure that larger bodies are shown in search results signals to users of all sizes that everybody and every body deserves to be included and inspired. We hope our work with Pinterest will inspire other companies to join the movement as well.
— Tigress Osborn, Chair of NAAFA
Supporting an ecosystem that creates and highlights content from historically marginalised communities is just as important as introducing innovative technologies. To celebrate diversity and foster more diverse content, Pinterest is launching a Creator Inclusion Fund dedicated to North American creators in the plus-size community who share content related to different body types. This fund is the thirteenth instalment of Pinterest’s Creator Fund, an initiative focused on the growth and success of historically marginalised creators. Selected creators will receive expert training, resources and financial support. Eligible participants from the US and Canada can apply using this form [link to be added] starting 7 September 2023 at 6 a.m. PT until 17 September 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Independent publishers, digital magazines and content collectives are also welcome to apply.
Additionally, Pinterest will be spotlighting several size-inclusive brands on Pinterest’s search landing page, across ‘Today’s inspiration’ articles and in Shopping Spotlights, which are curated sections that highlight expert recommendations from influential fashion tastemakers. Users will see inspiring, shoppable content from brands such as Torrid, Dia & Co and Anthropologie.
With more Pinterest users embracing body inclusivity and looking for fashion inspiration to suit their bodies, brands and creators have an opportunity to meet users where they are in their journey to find new ideas, discover new products, and shop for the looks that fit them the best. Pinners are getting inspired and are increasingly searching for body representation with searches such as ‘Mum summer outfits curvy’ up 47x, ‘concert looks plus size’ up 6x, and ‘plus-size bridal dresses’ up 5x, year on year.
The presence of authentic representation on a platform, without having to add size or shape modifiers to get what you want, has never been more important to the emotional well-being of young people globally. I am immensely grateful to have been part of Pinterest's journey to shine a light on plus-size individuals and show everyone else that genuine change is possible.
— Tess Holliday, founder, activist, and model
Pinterest’s mission is to provide everyone with the inspiration to create a life that they love. Today’s announcement on the new body type technology, the launch of the Creator Inclusion Fund, as well as Pinterest’s efforts to bring more diverse images into recommendations are all important steps towards building a more positive place online and an inclusive future for all.
The new body type technology and previously launched skin tone technology are improving representation across search and related Pins when searching for women’s fashion and wedding-related content. These experiences are currently live in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and will roll out to additional international markets.