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Call for evidence

Changing the perfect picture: an inquiry into body image

The inquiry focuses specifically on the questions below. The Committee encourages evidence from individuals as well as organisations.  You can answer as many or as few questions as you like. The Committee would like to hear evidence from underrepresented groups.

 

Terms of reference

The impact of poor body image

Who is particularly at risk of poor body image? (groups protected by the Equality Act) 

  • What is the impact for those with multiple protected characteristics including race, disability, sex and sexuality?

What contributes to poor body image?

What are the long-term effects of poor body image on people?

What is the impact of media consumption on people’s body image, does it impact their mental health?

What is the relationship between poor body image and mental health conditions including eating disorders?

 

Media

What is the effect of the following on people’s body image when using social media?

  • Adverts
  • User-generated content (posts from friends)
  • User-generated content (posts from celebrities)
  • Content promoting eating disorders and diet culture
  • Content promoting cosmetic surgery/interventions

What are the responsibilities of companies and the media in ensuring diversity in the images we see?

Which adverts or campaigns have had a negative impact on body image? 

Which adverts or campaigns stand out in promoting a positive body image?

 

Regulation

Has Government policy had an impact on improving body image?

  • What strategy should the Government take to encourage healthy body image for young people?
  • Is there enough research and data to support the Government in creating policy surrounding body image and social media?

Would proposals in the Online Harms White Paper protect people from potential harm caused by social media content in regard to body image?

Do companies advertise their goods and services responsibly in relation to promoting positive body image?

What is the role of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in promoting diversity and a positive body image in

  • Non-broadcast advertising: websites, social media, emails etc
  • Broadcast advertising: TV and radio

How successful is the ASA at protecting the public from adverts that have a negative impact on body image?

 

The committee wants to hear your views on issues surrounding body image. You can submit evidence until Friday 26 June.

 

Your Submission

If your submission is accepted by the Committee, it will usually be published online. It will then be available permanently for anyone to view. It can’t be changed or removed.

If you have included your name or any personal information in your submission, that will be published too. Please consider how much personal information you want or need to share. Your contact details will never be published.

Decisions about publishing evidence anonymously, or about accepting but not publishing evidence, are made by the Committee. If you want to ask the Committee to keep your evidence anonymous (we’ll publish your evidence but not your name or personal details) or confidential (the Committee will read your evidence but it won’t be published) then please tick the box on the form. This lets the Committee know what you would like but the final decision will be taken by the Committee.

Written submissions from anyone aged under 18 will be automatically anonymised.

We can’t publish submissions that mention ongoing legal cases – contact us if you are not sure what this means for you.

Please feel welcome to discuss any questions with the Committee staff on womeqcom@parliament.uk; 020 7219 6123

 

Signposting

We understand that the issues raised in this inquiry may be potentially distressing or sensitive.

If you would like support about eating disorders or any other aspects of mental health you may wish to contact a specialist support service such as: 

Beat eating disorders- 0808 801 0677

Mind for better mental health- 0300 123 3393

Samaritans- 116 123

If you would require additional advice or support on a range of other issues you may wish to contact Citizens Advice on 03444 111 444

 

 

Committees of the House of Commons are not able to take up individual cases but if you would like political support or advice you may wish to contact your local Member of Parliament.

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