Swinson: We need to make girls feel confident about their own body

by Stephen Tall on August 4, 2010

Almost exactly a year ago, Lib Dem MPs Jo Swinson and Lynne Featherstone were among those in the party’s Real Women group leading the campaign to “Ban airbrushing in children’s adverts”, a view later endorsed by an independent Home Office report.

They’ve been joined in their campaign now by Girlguiding UK, which is today launching a petition to introduce compulsory labelling on airbrushed images.

Jo comments:

I am delighted that Girlguiding UK is taking up this issue. I co-founded the Campaign for Body Confidence out of concern that people of all ages are feeling so much pressure over their body image – especially young girls.

“There is plenty of scientific evidence that being exposed to so many unrealistic images in the media can be harmful to people’s health and wellbeing. We need to make girls feel confident about their own body and to help them realise that manipulated images are unrealistic and untrue. Girls need to stop being encouraged to aspire to the unreachable as they will only become more and more unhappy in the process.”

And Lynne, who is now Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister, added:

The Girl Guides have done an incredible amount of work over recent years with their annual ‘attitude surveys’ and their most recent survey showed that girls as young as ten are worried about their weight. I have sent them a message of support.”

You can read Lynne’s blog-post, ‘Body Confidence – Girl Guides’, here.