Body Confidence Campaign
Aims and objectives
The body confidence campaign is part of the Government Equalities Office, charged with addressing body confidence issues across government. The campaign aspires to work with organisations across government and industry to address the causes of low levels of body confidence in UK society, specifically by: raising awareness of body image and raising debate; working with industry (media, retail, advertising, fitness, fashion and beauty) to represent and celebrate a wider range of sizes, shapes and ethnicity in images of men, women and children; encouraging girls’ aspirations and confidence in their full value and social contribution.
Results and impact
In April 2012, the first ever Body Confidence Awards presented in association with bare Minerals celebrated inspirational and deserving efforts to promote body confidence, diversity and the acceptance of broader beauty ideals. The 2012 All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image Inquiry into the causes and consequences of body image anxiety heard evidence from a wide range of organisations, and published its report in June. Young people's understanding of the effects of media and celebrity culture were enhanced through the Media Smart teacher and parent packs . In June 2011, Reg Bailey, , Chief Executive of Mothers’ Union, also published an independent review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, ‘Letting children be children’, which calls on government, businesses and broadcasters to play their part and protect children from the increasingly sexualised ‘wallpaper’ that surrounds them. In response to the Bailey review, the UK’s media regulators launched ParentPort, a website to help people understand the standards expected from the media, make a complaint and share their views with the regulators.
Government Equalities Office
The campaign has developed an industry award (the PPA Awards) with the Professional Publishers’ Association to reward the inclusion of diverse body images in magazines. It has also worked with Media Smart to launch a teaching pack for primary schools, and an accompanying parent pack, to help children understand how media images are doctored and the impact this can have on individuals. The initiative has also hosted roundtables for the media, retail, advertising and fitness industries to encourage voluntary action to promote healthy bodies and realistic goal-setting.