After Norway, the UK could be next to tackle the issue of unrealistic and harmful beauty standards. The Health and Social Care Committee found that more and more people suffer from body dysmorphia while social media and its ads are largely unregulated. As a result, the UK law could soon require ads to clearly label if there are any photoshopped bodies in them.
MPs have pointed out that some steps need to be taken to prevent body image dissatisfaction. Some of these include putting clear labels on filtered images, but the MPs also discussed cosmetic procedures. According to them, new training standards for the procedure providers should be introduced. But for the sake of this article, let’s stick with the images and ads.
According to MPs, advertisers should be legally required to carry warnings if images of models are digitally altered. This came after a House of Commons’ Health and Social Care Committee report saying that “the impact of body image on mental and physical health is ‘wide-reaching.’” At the same time, they claim that the government is “not doing enough to understand the scale of the risks” linked to body image dissatisfaction and body dysmorphia.
To tackle these issues, the committee calls for the government to introduce a new law. It would force all “commercial images” to have a logo that would let viewers know they have been digitally altered. This includes bodies that have been photoshopped in any way: from changing body proportions to altering skin tone.
In addition, MPs also called on ministers to discourage influencers from altering their images, as ITV reports. “The government to do more to understand the rise in body image dissatisfaction across the population, including the impact of social media,” the MPs said.
I have discussed before how social media can be toxic and have a terrible influence on your self-esteem and body image. After all, it’s not just my impression, psychologists have proven it as well. Even when you choose to tailor your Instagram feed to suit your interests, you still can’t escape the ads, they’re everywhere. And as you might have noticed, those ads could be incredibly toxic, especially for women.
In addition to ads, there’s another batch of content you never asked to see: recommendations. According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook shows you around 15% of recommended posts and accounts in your feed, and Instagram shows even more. By the end of 2023, there will be around 30% of them. That could mean 30% more influencers with photoshopped and filtered bodies that could make you feel as if you’re not good or worthy enough. It’s easier to fall into that trap than you may think.
[via the BBC]