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Launch of the Campaign for Body Confidence

March 8, 2010

Jo Swinson and Lynne Featherstone will host a panel debate on combating body image pressure felt by women and girls today in Parliament to mark International Women’s Day.

A panel of experts including former Clothes Show presenter Caryn Franklin and author of Fat is a Feminist Issue, Susie Orbach, will debate measures to tackle the harm caused by pressure to conform to unrealistic and unhealthy body image ideals. Other attendees include Girl Guides, Linda Papadopoulos and the world’s leading body image experts.

The event will mark the launch of the Campaign for Body Confidence.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Equalities Minister, Lynne Featherstone said:

“Since the Liberal Democrats launched the Real Women campaign last year, we have been inundated with messages of support from people who are fed up of the constant pressure to live up to totally unrealistic ideals of beauty.

“Unrealistic and unhealthy ideas of what’s beautiful mean people suffer with anything from low self-esteem to serious eating disorders, which is why we are launching the Campaign for Body Confidence.

“Politicians, media figures, modelling agencies, mental health experts and ordinary people will be asked to pledge to campaign against this dangerous trend.”

Commenting, Susie Orbach said:

“I welcome this debate. The body image pressure on girls and women constitutes a public health emergency. I hope that the Government will take urgent measures to prevent the commercial world preying on young girls.”

Commenting, Caryn Franklin said:

“All Walks Beyond the Catwalk is delighted to be involved in this pioneering debate. This fashion initiative has already introduced the idea of working with a range of models in size and age at London Fashion Week with the goal of offering aspirational yet realistic fashion imagery to women who may feel ill-served by what is currently in existence.”

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