Have all those ads with models having `size zero’ or ‘perfect hourglass’ bodies left you conscious about your own image? Or have all those models with perfect complexion left you pale?
Worry not! Academy award winning actor Geena Davis has teamed up with Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone to challenge the portrayal of women in the global media.
The development is significant as evidence suggests 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. Even the skin colour and ethnicity can have an impact.
At a UN summit this week, Equalities Minister Featherstone is expected to host the first international event about body image. She will join UN delegates to talk about how education can be used to battle negative body image and the UK’s Body Confidence campaign, which focuses on gender stereotyping in the media and highlights how misleading images can cause stress on younger women.
The minister said: ‘Every day, women across the world are surrounded by body images which bear little or no resemblance to reality, whether that be the ‘size zero’ or the ‘perfect hourglass’. These images can cause real damage to self-esteem.
‘If children continue to grow up in a world filled with images of uniform beauty and airbrushed perfection, future generations will never be happy in their own skin. This is why I am bringing the debate to the UN.’
Last year the UK government launched the Body Confidence campaign to raise awareness about body image and encourage a more open and public conversation.
Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, welcomed the UK’s body confidence campaign. She said: ‘Hollywood and the media have the power to shift attitudes and achieve social change, particularly in how our children value themselves and each other. There is a real need to dispel the myths of the ‘perfect’ body that just don’t match up to the real world.’