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Society’s obsession with the ideal figure has gone too far – Jo Swinson

March 31, 2011

Co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence, Jo Swinson MP, has commented on the research conducted for new eating disorder charity the Succeed Foundation, in partnership with the University of the West of England, which found that nearly a third of women would trade in at least one year of their life for the perfect body image.

The research surveyed female students aged 18-65 at British universities, and revealed that 30 per cent would be prepared to die younger in exchange for a perfect body. 16 per cent said they would swap one year of their life for the ideal body, 10 per cent were willing to trade between two and five years, and 2 per cent would forego a decade.

Jo Swinson said:

“It is clear from these findings that society’s obsession with the ideal figure has gone too far, and the pressure on women of all ages to have the ‘perfect’ body can be overwhelming.

“Thanks to the constant bombardment of digitally manipulated and airbrushed images in magazines, advertisements and on the catwalk, women are routinely deceived into aspiring to super-skinny bodies and flawless skin.

“It is tragic that women would be willing to exchange years of their life, family, friends and academic success to have the ‘perfect’ body as defined by the advertising, media and retail industry.

“We urgently need to shift the focus away from unrealistic pictures of women that are increasing body dissatisfaction and encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles and be happy in their own skin.”

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