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Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson urges advertisers to use models of all shapes and sizes in campaigns

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

January 5, 2012 | 2 min read

Jo Swinson, the Scottish Lib Dem deputy leader, is urging companies to use models of all shapes and sizes in their advertising campaigns, urging them to “recognise the consequences and damage done by constantly flooding the market with a narrow range of unrealistic images of what the industry deems to be beautiful.”

Swinson, who is the co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence and has previously spoken out about airbrushing on adverts, speaks out at a time when many members of the public are making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or diet following over indulgence at Christmas.

She said: "After Christmas, the market is awash with dieting advice as people try and lose extra pounds put on over the festive period.

"These drastic diet plans often promote weight loss in an unhealthy way and the vast majority of people who follow them will end up weighing more than they did before they started the diet."

The East Dunbartonshire MP added: "I am concerned that this constant bombardment of unrealistic diet advice is having a really negative effect on society, especially young people.

"We need to go further. We need to empower our young people with the confidence to have a positive body image, happy in their own skin.

"This needs to be part of our young people's classroom education. Children are growing up with the idea that body dis-satisfaction is a rite of passage, and this needs to stop.

"Liberal Democrats believe in the freedom of companies to advertise but we also believe in the freedom of young people to develop their self-esteem and to be as comfortable as possible with their bodies.

"I want more focus on encouraging young women and men to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and to recognise that their value comes from who they are and what they do, not just what they look like."

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