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Changing the perfect picture: an inquiry into body image


Awareness of the impact of advertising and media consumption on people’s body image has increased in recent years. Negative body image is widely perceived as solely a young women’s problem. But more recently, research has shown that this is a wider issue:  

  • Recent studies report that over a third of adults feel anxious or depressed about their body image, and nearly half (44%) want to see greater diversity in the mainstream media.
  • NHS studies have shown that 57% of young men felt pressured by social media to look good, and 23% believed there to be a ‘perfect male body.’ 
  • The Mental Health Foundation reported in a recent study that 40% of LGBT+ adults felt shame because of their body image. 
  • 80% of disabled people surveyed by Trailblazers said that their body image has a direct impact on their mental well-being.

The Women and Equalities Committee want to hear from a range of people and organisations on what causes poor body image and how people’s body image is impacted by companies, adverts, social media and Government policy.

The written evidence published as part of this inquiry will be used to inform the work of the Committee. Publication of written evidence does not equate to an endorsement of the views it contains by the Committee.

More information on the inquiry