MP calls on fashion industry to address body image problem

Caroline Dinenage, minister for women, equalities and early years, has called on the fashion industry to address unrealistic and idealised images of women's bodies.

'Utterly gorgeous': MP praised Maltesers' advertising for Paralympics
'Utterly gorgeous': MP praised Maltesers' advertising for Paralympics

Speaking at The Body Confidence Event in London today, Dinenage addressed the issue of the use of the use of overtly skinny models in the fashion industry.

Dinenage said: "Often we talk about disposable fashion but the high-end fashion world is made up of long-lasting clothing and disposable people"

She continued that the industry’s "massive defensiveness" about the issue could not continue. "You can’t open a magazine without seeing the high-end brand – young girls are influenced by these unrealistic idealised beauty," she added.

Crediting the advertising industry for creating "positive change" she said the UK advertising industry was "a world leader" in combining creativity with social good. Pointing to the work including Maltesers' recent campaign featuring disabled actors which she described as "utterly gorgeous in every way". Meanwhile Dove, Always and Smyths Toys’ recent ad featuring a boy dressed as a princess, were also praised for embracing diversity.

Looking ahead Dinenage pointed to social media as being a key campaigning tool for consumers who are actively campaigning about and challenging idealised notions of what constitutes beauty.

She added: "These things [restrictive stereotypes] are a massive barrier for young people. I worry about young women putting themselves on regimes of constant self monitoring and think about what else they could be doing with that time."

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