The sponsored ad promoting a game called “Game of Sultans” featured two side-by-side characters, one dubbed “obese” and another called “pretty.”
“Why is this fat shaming bullshit on my feed,” 26-year-old Lovato wrote on her Instagram story. “So many things wrong with this ad.”
The message from the ad is loud and problematic: only skinny women are pretty.
“This is absolutely harmful to anyone who is easily influenced by societal pressures put on us from the diet culture to constantly be losing weight in a world that teaches us to equate our value and worth with the way we look and especially anyone in recovery from an eating disorder," she wrote. "Especially when eating disorders are all about ‘control.'”
Lovato directly called out Instagram for allowing an ad that shames people’s weight on its platform. “Please Instagram, keep this bullshit off mine and other’s feeds who could easily be effected [sic] by this disgusting advertisement,” she wrote. “With how aware people are becoming of mental health and mental illnesses, I expect you guys to know better by allowing this advertisement to be allowed on your app. And shame on the game.”
Instagram later apologized, and told TMZ the ad violated its terms of service and would be removed. "We're sorry. This ad was approved by mistake,” the company said. “We reviewed it again and removed it from future delivery in people's feeds."
The Grammy nominee has been open about her struggle with drug abuse and her fight with bulimia in the past. At the end of 2018, Lovato shared a message telling fans she’s “sober and grateful to be alive."