Central YMCA is doing the administration work for the Group which will be:
- Bringing together interested parties, from a range of sectors including:
- Advertising industry
- Health and fitness sector
- Youth organisations
- Fashion and beauty sector
- Highlighting areas of best practice
- Examining potential causes of negative body image
- Showcasing new research on body image
This crushing conformity when it comes to body image is so dangerous. Our kids are getting the message from almost before they can read, that how you look is more important than what you do. So, you could find a cure for cancer, but if your teeth aren't white enough, or you have grey hair or wrinkles, or are a healthy weight, well, that's just not good enough.
There is so much that has to be done to tackle this sort of pernicious culture and Jo's work and that of Lynne Featherstone, who, as Equalities Minister, is in a position to make a difference is to my mind one of the most important things that this Government is doing. Jo herself said:
“Body dissatisfaction in the UK has never been higher, particularly among young people. The pressure to conform to the impossible stereotypes we are bombarded with in advertising, magazines and on the catwalk is overwhelming and damaging - one in four of us are depressed about our bodies.
Low self-esteem, depression and eating disorders are all increasing, along with unhealthy behaviours: half of young people have been on a diet, one in 10 would take laxatives to lose weight and the number of young men taking steroids has doubled in the last 10 years.
These problems urgently need addressing and the APPG on Body Image will bring together some of the key players in this debate in a cross-party forum – youth organisations, the advertising industry, health sector and media. We will challenge some of the root causes of negative body image, highlight best practice and work towards building a society in which people feel more body confident.”