Calls upon women to be more supportive in fight against unrealistic body imaging
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/31/2012 -- Equalities Minister Jo Swinson stated that women should not be so interested in criticizing one another when it comes to weight.
She also stated that unrepresentative images of women are far too pervasive within the advertising and media spectrum. She has gone as far to write an open letter to magazine editors, asking them to that to promote post-Christmas “miracle diets” could be a dangerous aspect to the health of readers.
Swinson is a business minister who started a campaign on the body-image anxiety issue before entering into government. While her recent interview focused on criticizing media for their actions, she also stated that women in general could be more helpful to one another, and help one another ignore media pressure to be a particular type of thin.
"The imagery that we're presented with has just one type of so-called ideal which is very, very slim, generally very, very young as well, late teens or early 20s, and it is something which is unattainable and, indeed, not reflective of the true diversity of beauty that's out there," she said.
"There's a resolution here that we all could make, women up and down the country. [Magazines] have got these features because they think people want to read them and part of that is because there is an obsession about being thin, so maybe one of the things we all need to do is support each other not to be so self-critical.”
"So when your sister or your friend is standing there and moaning about whether she looks really fat, and actually she looks gorgeous, tell her so and support each other. Very often this kind of criticism, and self-criticism, is something which goes unchallenged and I think there's a resolution there for everyone to challenge that default setting."
Swinson noted that she was writing to various editors of magazines because the diets which they promote were dangerous. Some such diets promised individuals the capability to lose as much as seven pounds in as many days.
"Every January we see these fad diets promoted. These aren't promoting healthiness, these aren't promoting a way of embracing exercise and eating fruit and veg and doing things which will actually help people. They're actually suggesting that you can suddenly lose lots of weight very quickly and there are no negative health consequences.”
"We actually know most diets don't work and if you go on a crash diet there can be really negative health consequences … So this is a myth that's being perpetrated trying to tempt people to buy these magazines and I think it's time they change their record, frankly."
Within her letter, Swinson wrote: "I am sure that you want to promote a healthy lifestyle for your readers but at this time of year in particular far too much magazine coverage tends to focus on irresponsible, short-term solutions and encourages readers to jump on fad diet bandwagons.”
"As editors you owe more to your readers than the reckless promotion of unhealthy solutions to losing weight. If your aim is to give practical, sensible advice about losing weight – and not how to drop a stone in five days – you should encourage reasonable expectations, instead of dangerous ones, along with exercise and healthy eating."
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