The campaign aims to reduce the burdens that popular culture places on people's wellbeing and self-esteem.
The government has convened a group of experts to identify non-legislative solutions to tackle the causes of low levels of body confidence. This includes representatives from health and fitness, fashion and retail, youth and education, media and advertising, and the beauty sectors.
Why are we doing this?
Every year people are confronted with thousands of images through society's many visual landscapes. These images create a culture of conformity, not individuality, and they do not reflect the diverse society we live in.
Evidence suggests that many people – men, women and children – suffer from negative feelings about their body shape and this can influence their wellbeing and have a negative impact on different aspects of their lives.
There is also concern that people feel pressured to focus their energies on how they look. People should feel valued not because of what they look like, but for what they can contribute and achieve.
What do we want to achieve?
The government wants to:
- raise awareness about body image and encourage a more open and public conversation. This is the first step to changing our visual landscape to show variety in size, shape and ethnicity across images of men, women and children.
- ensure people have healthier and happier futures where a wider spectrum of male and female body shapes is represented, and people recognise that their value is worth so much more than just their physical appearance.
- widen the definition of beauty to include all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities. We need to counter the homogeneity of body image which we have now been receiving for several decades.
(Links will open in a new window)
- All Party Parliamentary Group on body image
- Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
- Media Smart: media literacy teaching pack on body image
- Bailey review: letting children be children
- TNS Omnibus survey: Bailey review data
- Girlguiding UK: girls attitudes 2011
- YMCA research: attitudes to body image in the UK
- HBSC research: international survey on health behaviours in school-aged children
- Credos: pretty as a picture - airbrushing in advertising
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