Body confidence campaign Progress report 2013

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Body confidence campaign

Progress report 2013


Foreword by Jo Swinson MP 3
What is body confidence? 5
What causes low body confidence? 6
Why does body confidence matter? 7
What has the government been doing? 7
What’s next? 11
Further information on body confidence 12

Case studies from Body Confidence partners have been included throughout this report. Their inclusion does not indicate Government involvement or responsibility. They are included to illustrate the range of imaginative work being undertaken in the field of body confidence.

References 13

Foreword by Jo Swinson MP, Minister for Women and Equalities

Extreme diets that cut out whole food groups or cut out eating anything on certain days.

Getting into debt to finance cosmetic surgery procedures.

Obsessing over and pursuing impossible ideals – from a thigh gap to flawless skin.

It has become so normal, so everyday, for people to worry about what they look like that it is easy to ignore the real problems this creates. Growing up in a society where mass media is fixated on a narrowly defined image of beauty and the celebrities that embody it is damaging the outlook and self-esteem of our children and teenagers – and adults are not immune to these concerns. Of course, individuals differ in their confidence and resilience. But research shows that many people – particularly young people – are having their self-confidence corroded by the belief that their looks are the most important thing about them.

For several years I have been disturbed by the sheer amount of energy, ambition and opportunity wasted by low body confidence. That is why Lynne Featherstone and I started working on this issue back in 2008, and I am delighted to be following in Lynne’s footsteps as the Minister for Women and Equalities with responsibility for taking it forward within Government.

As a Minister in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, I am also very aware of the critical importance of releasing women’s full potential contribution to economic growth. In order to do this we need to address the remaining structural barriers – by modernising workplaces and ensuring access to flexible, accessible, affordable childcare. However we also need to tackle the cultural barriers, which include raising girls’ aspirations and vision of all the ways in which they can be valued and fulfilled.

Another Government priority is the rising obesity crisis, which has major consequences for public health. Many individuals want to move towards a healthier weight, and it is important that they are supported and able to do this in a realistic and sustained way, and in a way which helps them to build body confidence and self-esteem. Crash diets are not the answer. Positive body confidence means people feel more comfortable taking exercise, which boosts both physical and mental health.

The Body Confidence Campaign is about changing our culture to reduce body image pressure and promote healthy attitudes to our bodies. It’s a big ambition, and it’s not something Government can achieve alone. I am particularly proud of the relationships we have developed with key players in the retail, advertising, fashion and fitness industries, as well as campaigners and activists working on these issues – some of the excellent initiatives being made possible by collaborative efforts are outlined in this report.

I know that this is an area of great concern to many young people and their parents – the high volume of emails I receive attests to that. We have a long way to go – changing our appearance-obsessed culture will not happen overnight. However I’m convinced we are beginning to make a real impact and I look forward to continuing that progress over the coming year.

Directory: government -> uploads -> system -> uploads -> attachment data -> file
file -> Remove this if sending to pagerunnerr Page Title Light Rail Security Recommended Best Practice
file -> 8 Section 1 : Sport
file -> Notice of exercise of additional powers of seizure under Sections 50 or 51 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001
file -> Home office circular 004/2014 Powers to search for and seize invalid travel documents in Schedule 8 to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
file -> Consultation on the Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2012
file -> Crown copyright 2012
file -> This is the Report to Government by the Film Policy Review Panel The brief
file -> Impact Assessment (IA)
file -> Dcms/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund a public-Private Partnership (2002-2010)

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