Beverley and Holderness MP, Graham Stuart, has written to national organisations in a cross-party effort towards creating more realistic representations of body image in advertising and on social media.
The Body Image Pledge invites brands, charities and organisations to voluntarily commit to not digitally manipulate body proportions in any direct advertising or promotional material, including images displayed in storefronts.
The letter, which was signed by 77 MPs from across 7 political parties, highlights the harmful effects that viewing digitally altered bodies can have on a person’s – particularly a child’s – self esteem and body image. As many as 1 in 3 teenagers feel shame about their body, with 94% of girls aged 11-21 believing more needs to be done to protect young people from body image pressures online.
Advertising makes a profound difference not just in the way we perceive products and services, but to the way in which we perceive ourselves. This is why Graham Stuart is calling on organisations to commit to accurately representing a person’s body and make a significant difference in how beauty ideals are considered.
Action has already been taken by some well-known organisations with Dove, Boots, Barry M, PureGym and the Mental Health Foundation having already signed up to the Pledge. An international sporting event, the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, will also be accurately represented with the official promotional event services provider, DRP Group, having made the commitment too.
The cross-party letter states: “We recognise there is no easy solution to this problem, and that no one policy or piece of legislation alone will solve this issue. Supporting the Body Image Pledge, however, would be a fantastic first step in the right direction. We have the potential to make a real difference to how we as a society view body image, which will greatly impact our mental and physical health as a nation.”
Commenting on his support for this campaign, Graham said: “I am very pleased to support this important campaign and I encourage organisations across Beverley and Holderness to sign up to the Pledge to help make an important difference to those suffering with an eating disorder or low body confidence.”
Brands, charities or organisations that would like to voluntarily commit to not digitally manipulate a person’s body proportions in any imagery can sign the Body Image Pledge via this website: https://www.drlukeevans.org.uk/body-image