Policy

Creating a fairer and more equal society

Supporting detail:

Body confidence campaign

Evidence shows that popular culture places burdens on people’s wellbeing and self esteem, often resulting in low confidence and self-consciousness. This can contribute to lowered aspirations and psychological wellbeing and heightened vulnerability to risky behaviours. Boys and men are affected as well as girls and women, but there is a particularly marked impact on women’s choices and life chances.

We work with organisations across government and industry to address the causes of low levels of body confidence in our society by:

  • raising awareness of body image and raising debate
  • working with industry (media, retail, advertising, fitness, fashion and beauty) to represent and celebrate a wider range of sizes, shapes and ethnicity in images of men, women and children
  • encouraging girls’ aspirations and confidence in their full value and social contribution

We have:

Our 2013 body confidence progress report gives more detail on the campaign so far.

Working with other departments

The body confidence campaign team is part of the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and works closely with other departments on related policy areas. We are addressing body confidence across government through the following programmes.

The public health responsibility deal

The public health responsibility deal, set up with the Department of Health, taps into the potential for businesses and other organisations to improve public health and address health inequalities through their influence over food, alcohol, physical activity and health in the workplace.

Healthy lives, healthy people

In October 2011, the Department of Health published ‘Healthy lives, healthy people: our strategy for public health in England’, which sets out how a wide range of partners can work together to make sure that people get the right support and information to help them reach and maintain a healthier weight.

Letting children be children

On 6 June 2011, Reg Bailey published his independent review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, ‘Letting children be children’, which calls on government, businesses and broadcasters to play their part and protect children from the increasingly sexualised ‘wallpaper’ that surrounds them.

In response to the Bailey review, the UK’s media regulators have launched ParentPort. This website helps people understand the standards expected from the media, make a complaint and share their views with the regulators.

Further information

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