Tag Archives: campaign for body confidence

Jo Swinson on lives blighted by poor body confidence

jo swinson Alex Folkes/Fishnik PhotographyI wish Jo Swinson had been around when I was a teenager. My self-loathing teenage self could have done with a friendly looking government minister, a shining example of healthy living, telling me that the images society measured me against were unattainable and I should just concentrate on enjoying life and living healthily, taking loads of exercise and not being obsessed with weight and crash dieting.

Last week, someone posted a photo on a Facebook group about Inverness which had a 12 year old me in it. It took me quite aback to realise that, actually, I didn’t really look that bad. At that age, I thought I was hideous. Too fat, too hairy, too spotty. No way would I ever be able to be as pretty and, by extension, likeable as the girls in Blue Jeans and Jackie’s photo stories. My teenage story was one of intense anxiety, depression  which has undoubtedly cast a long shadow on my life. There were times when I didn’t believe I had the right to leave the house, let alone participate in anything at school. It wasn’t all to do with body image, but it seemed that everything I saw and everybody I came across in my life reinforced that image. There was no respite and no escape.

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LibLink… Jo Swinson: Our children shouldn’t grow up thinking looks are the most important thing in life

I remember the genuine distress suffered by a teenage friend of ours. Her hair straighteners had broken and we don’t possess such implements. She was actually frightened and anxious at the thought of leaving the house and being seen by her peers with unstraightened, but perfectly tidy, hair. I had to source another set of straighteners before I could get her to school.

That, sadly, is the tip of the iceberg. The pressure on particularly girls to conform to a very narrow standard of beauty, dictated by the likes of Heat magazine and the pornography industry, is excruciating and can lead …

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Jo Swinson responds to Liberal Democrat Voice commenters about telling children they are beautiful

A small storm erupted yesterday on our article reporting Jo Swinson’s comments in a Telegraph interview about the importance of making sure that children were praised for a wide range of things and not just their looks. Commenters raised a number of concerns, including whether it was appropriate for a Government Minister to give this sort of advice on what should essentially be a private matter.  As the mother of a teenage daughter, if I’m looking for advice on anything, I tend to look to people who know something about the subject, to  a credible, expert source of information …

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Jo Swinson uses the F word in Guardian interview

jo swinsonLast week, I said that Liberal Democrats should use the word feminist much more than we do. Women Liberal Democrats has done so much to advance policy on women’s equality over the years and its successor Liberal Democrat Women has a bright future ahead of it. However, women’s hard won rights are under attack all over the world, whether it’s the disgrace of female genital mutilation practised at home or abroad, domestic violence, employment rights, rape culture or abortion rights. Projects like Everyday Sexism expose a misogyny that is …

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Liberal Youth: It’s time to think about Freshers

As the academic year draws to a close, most young people are thinking about the summer ahead – not us though. At Liberal Youth we’re already planning for the next academic year and we want this year’s Freshers (the inaugural party / join-a-society week at the start of the academic term) to be the one that puts us back on the map.

The Freshers period is incredibly important to our organisation, more so now than ever. We’re not naive, we know the Liberal Democrats’ reputation on campus isn’t the same as it was a few years ago, but we’re working hard …

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Opinion: Lynne is our Champion for equality and everyone should know it!

Contrary to the pernicious article in the Guardian on Saturday, Lynne Featherstone MP, Minister for Equalities has worked her socks off to put equality and women’s rights at the top of the agenda for this Coalition Government.

And not only at the top of the agenda, but driving in every possible direction to ensure the rights of women (and also in particular the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people) are catapulted on to the front page of every tabloid and broadsheet paper and into the mainstream political debate and discussion.

So with all this extraordinary work, you would hope …

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So, what was Jo Swinson doing in Private Eye?

You always take a bit of a sharp intake of breath if you see one of your lot mentioned in Private Eye. However, this time, our Jo Swinson is the hero of the story. The current issue drew my attention to her most recent victory over cosmetics giant L’Oreal although the article isn’t available online. The Advertising Standards Authority recently banned another advert from the company, the third complained about by Jo. It featured actress Rachel Weisz and the ASA concluded that:

Although we considered that the image in the ad did not misrepresent the luminosity or wrinkling of

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Jo Swinson urges action to help young develop positive body image

Scottish Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and MP for East Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson, has again urged advertisers and retailers to use models covering a diverse of sizes, ages and shapes in their advertising and media campaigns to reflect the reality of different body shapes and to promote healthy body image.

Co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence, Jo is currently chairing a Parliamentary Inquiry into the causes and consequences of body image anxiety.

Her calls come as the retail market floods with health fads and “miracle weight-loss products screaming out at people to diet as part of New Year resolutions.  Jo  is concerned that this will …

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Fashion students taught body confidence

So reports the Home Office, including a comment from Lynne Featherstone that’s good to see about how legislation should not be seen as a magic wand to fix all ills:

A new educational institution teaching fashion graduates to design clothes for a diverse range of body shapes has been launched today by equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone.

The Centre for Diversity has been created by All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, an initiative founded by Erin O’Connor, Caryn Franklin and Debra Bourne, that works with influential catwalk designers and top industry creatives to celebrate diversity within the fashion industry.

Speaking at the launch,

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Jo Swinson presents dossier of evidence that media images have negative impact on body image

From a party news release:

Co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence and Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson has given the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) details of 172 scientific studies which show that exposure to idealised media images has a negative effect on body image for adults and children.

The portfolio of evidence gives a comprehensive overview of research examining the link between airbrushed media images and people’s dissatisfaction with their own bodies.

The Campaign for Body Confidence is calling on the ASA to amend its codes of conduct for advertisers to require airbrushed images of people to be clearly labelled.

Commenting, Jo …

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Lib Dems launch Campaign for Body Confidence

Congratulations to Lib Dem MPs Lynne Featherstone and Jo Swinson for helping to organise a panel debate this afternoon in Parliament – to coincide with International Women’s Day – on measures to tackle the harm caused by pressure to conform to unrealistic and unhealthy body image ideals. The event marked the launch of the Campaign for Body Confidence.

The panel featured Lynne (the party’s shadow equalities minister), Clothes Show presenter Caryn Franklin, psychotherapist Susie Orbach and Dr Helga Dittmar of the University of Sussex. Other attendees included Girlguides, Linda Papadopoulous and the world’s leading body image experts.

Here’s what Lynne had …

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