Wednesday 5 August 2009

In Praise of a Liberal Democrat

It's not very often I've a good word to say about the Liberal Democrats but for once I have nothing but praise. This is for the stand Jo Swinson, LibDem MP for East Dunbartonshire has taken against the advertising industry. Her proposals are for:
• Children to be protected from body image pressure by banning airbrushing in advertising aimed at under 16s

• Adverts aimed at adults to indicate clearly the extent to which they have been airbrushed or digitally enhanced

• Cosmetic surgery advertisements to give surgery success rates

• Modules on body image, health and well-being, and media literacy to be taught in schools

• Schools to include greater choice in physical activity to stop teenage girls dropping out of exercising

• Money to be invested in improving school and community sports facilities to make them cleaner, safer and more female-friendly
This blog has written about body image quite a few times and has noted the pressure and misery hegemonic images of the body beautiful can encourage. Swinson's proposals are exactly the sort of action we need to begin making serious inroads into the pathologies associated with an increasingly sexualised but dehumanising popular culture.

If only Harriet Harman was as savvy when it comes to making the case for feminist policies.


Charlie Marks said...

Harriet has had a lot of media training - but perhaps Jo could give her some advice on how to present feminist politics with clarity?

Phil said...

That said, she should be defended from the ludicrous attacks the Daily Mail were making on Harman yesterday. You have to be really warped if you think teaching five year olds that domestic violence is bad is "controversial".

Vengeance and Fashion said...

Some pretty decent ideas there. I'd be wary of the idea of modules on body image, health and well being etc., there is a tendency amongst the political class to think part or all of the solution to a problem is 'teach about it in schools', which becomes just another box to tick and another thing to cram into an overcrowded timetable where little can be dealt with in depth.