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Welsh Liberal Democrats back airbrushing in advertising campaign

September 14, 2009 4:10 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are backing the LiberalDemocrats 'Real Women' airbrushing in advertising campaign. The onlinecampaign is also backed by the National Centre for Eating Disorders,Girlguiding UK and leading academies.

The campaign is encouraging people to complain to the Advertising Standards Agency and the Committee of Advertising Practice about adverts which portray unrealistic and unhealthy body images. The campaign also seeks a ban on adverts aimed at under-16s using digital retouching to portray unrealistic body images. Beat, the leading UK charity for people with eating disorders and their families, estimate that there are 58,000 people in Wales suffering from eating disorders and the numbers are increasing. Speaking about the campaign, Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: "Media images of women are often unrealistic and unattainable and place an enormous amount of pressure on women to aim for perfection. This pressure creates body image issues and can contribute to eating disorders. Working against airbrushing in advertising would protect young women and girls from becoming susceptible to this pressure." "This campaign is a step in the right direction in the fight against eating disorders but more work needs to be done. We need to educate young children about the dangers of eating disorders and this education should form part of the school curriculum. We also need to ensure that adequate funding is available for the effective specialist treatment of people with eating disorders."

Notes - The online campaign is here forming part of the 'Real Women' campaign, highlighting issues of particular significance to women The charity, Beat, revealed that 58,000 people suffer from eating disorders in Wales: Home Views on Airbrushing "They always have the same kind of dead-looking girls. It isn't interesting and the girls aren't interesting. Because they are not girls. They are androids. Airbrushed and cleaned up and not real" Celebrity photographer David Bailey on the state of modern British fashion photography. 'I love the process of creating a beautiful image and how I can execute a vision, but I also know I am contributing to the low self esteem and unrealistic body image many people have.' Christy Schuler Professional retouching artist and tutor Clothes created for catwalk shows, which are also used by magazines in their photo shoots, have become "substantially smaller" and Vogue is often "retouching" photographs in order to make models "look healthier." Alexandra Shulman editor of Vogue