Size zero campaigners take body image debate to the heart of fashion

From the Guardian UK:

Women’s group is to stage provocative debate on the beauty industry at the London College of Fashion

The Observer, Saturday 1 June 2013

The size zero debate has raged for years, drawing in models, fashion designers and magazine editors, politicians and doctors – and it shows no sign of abating. In the last few weeks, River Island has been criticised for using an ultra-slim woman in its latest campaign, and the former editor of Australian Vogue has revealed that models are eating tissues to stay thin.

Now a controversial event at the London College of Fashion will propose a “revolution in how we think about body size”.

On Tuesday, nine speakers will aim to bridge the gap between aspiration and reality in Be Real Talks: Why Size Doesn’t Matter – “a cross between a theatre experience and a comedy club with a workshop element”. Speakers will include psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who has spoken out against the airbrushing of photos and has advised the government on its negative impact, and Natasha Devon of Body Gossip, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to raise awareness about body image.

Devon says: “When you look at social media, there is a huge chorus of people who are fed up of the advertising and beauty industries. They want a revolution. The tide is turning.”

In the last seven years she has lectured to more than 20,000 14-to-18-year-olds about body confidence: 30% boys and 70% girls. “Their idea of what is anatomically perfect is very narrow,” she says. “It’s basically Barbie and Ken. It’s a huge job to get them to see that there is no such thing as perfect.”

Liberal Democrat women’s minister Jo Swinson is heading an all-party parliamentary group to develop a “national campaign for positive body image”. Devon is petitioning the education secretary, Michael Gove, for more funding for PSHE (personal, social and health education), which has been in the national curriculum since 2000. She says she does most of her work with independent schools because state schools do not have the budget and anything touching on “body confidence” is expected to be covered by school teaching staff.

Hospital admissions in the UK for eating disorders rose by 16% last year, with children and young people accounting for most admissions.

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See Also:

The Daily Mail UK: ‘We have a moral obligation to ban the airbrush’: Debenhams vows not to retouch model shots… and calls on others to follow suit

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