The Australian government recently received a body image report that advises on all manner of aspects to help build a better body image.
The report encourages advertisers, the media and the fashion industry to promote more positive body image messages.
The report includes a Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image (see below) which recommends using healthy weight models, realistic and natural images of people and disclosure when images of people have been digitally manipulated.
If you’re interested you can read the full report here.
Also, Mia Freedman who was the chair of the advisory body was today on ABC radio’s Life Matters program talking about the report – you can listen to the interview here
Mia used to be the Editor of Australian Cosmpolitan Magazine and worked hard at including all sorts of body shapes and sizes into the editorial content of the magazine when she was in the position. Listen to what she says about the experience on the interview. Here is also a link to her blog Mamamia where she writes about the experience of being on the board and who else was involved.
Here is what is proposed:
VOLUNTARY INDUSTRY CODE OF CONDUCT ON BODY IMAGE
Organisations that sign up to this Code of Conduct will abide by the following principles:
Positive content and messaging
Use positive content and messaging to support the development of a positive body image and realistic and healthy physical goals and aspirations among consumers.
Use a diverse range of people that are appropriate to their target audience. When considering diversity, particular focus should be given to including a range of body shapes, sizes and ethnicities.
Use advertising that supports positive and healthy body image behaviour.
Advertising that contradicts positive body image messages will not be used.
Realistic and natural images of people
Should not use digital technology in a way that alters images of people so that their body shape and features are unrealistic or unattainable through healthy practices.
Make consumers aware of the extent to which images of people have been manipulated.
Healthy weight models
Use models that are clearly of a healthy weight.
Appropriate modelling age
Only use people aged 16 years or older to model adult clothes or to work or model in fashion shows targeting an adult audience.
Fashion retailers supporting positive body image
Stock a wide variety of sizes that reflects demand from customers.
Sarah Murdoch, who was on the advisory group, appeared with out any airbrushing on the cover of this month’s Australian Women’s Weekly magazine
I think this is a fabulous step in the right direction in tackling this problem – what do you think?