Girl guides call for airbrushing banTuesday, 17 August 2010
The campaign, which launched earlier this month, follows on from Girlguiding UK’s 2009 study, the Girls Attitudes Survey. The survey revealed that 50 per cent of 16-21 year old girls would consider having cosmetic surgery to alter the way they look, while 42 per cent of 11-16 year olds admitted to watching their diet.
Liz Burnley CBE, Chief Guide at Girlguiding UK, explains: “From the research we have conducted and our everyday experiences working with girls and young women, we know how profoundly they feel the pressure to conform to a particular body image and how badly they can be affected by these unobtainable ideals.”
She says: “We are proud to support the calls of our members who believe that it is time that the Prime Minister addressed their concerns and acted in the interests of girls and young women across the country.”
The campaign comes at a buoyant time for plus-size fashion - recent figures show the market for plus-size clothing has reportedly grown by almost 50 per cent. Renowned designer, Marc Jacobs, is set to launch a new clothing line for plus-size women and The Big Bum Jumble, a landmark “fatshion” event offering bargain vintage clothes in sizes XL and up, took centre-stage in east London last Saturday.
Despite the obvious efforts to stray away from the worrying “size-zero” fad, there is still a long way to go as Susan Ringwood, Chief Executive of eating disorder charity Beat, points out: “Young people with eating disorders tell us that being surrounded everyday by pictures of unnaturally ‘perfect’ bodies makes their own recovery so much more difficult to achieve.”
She continues: “We know the difference it would make to all young people’s self esteem and body confidence if they could be sure which of the images they see are natural and true to life.”
“We are committed to working with Girlguiding UK and others to make this important call to action a reality,” she adds.
Commentators have long highlighted that airbrushing can be harmful and place “unrealistic pressures” on young women – and increasingly young men.
Some fashion pundits are taking a major stand against airbrushing in fashion imagery. Debenhams, for instance, took an anti-airbrushing stance in June by revealing the tricks of the trade with a “before and after” airbrushed image from its swimwear campaign. The retailer has since vowed to ban all airbrushing from future campaigns.