Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thrown his support behind Dr Luke Evans MP in his call for a label on images where a company has digitally manipulated a person’s body proportions.
For the last two years Dr Luke has been working to ensure honesty in advertising by those who have commercial interests or large influence, who the MP says should be labelling images where body proportions are altered.
In Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 18th May, Dr Luke Evans, MP for Bosworth, highlighted recent progress on his Body Image campaign. 84 cross-party MPs – covering every end of the political spectrum and representing all four countries in the United Kingdom – supported Dr Luke in an open letter to brands, charities and organisations to voluntarily commit to not digitally alter the body proportions of any person featuring in any of their direct imagery.
"I think that the [label] suggestion he has brought forward is extremely useful and I will make sure that we follow it up as part of our mental health plan”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
This would include promotional materials, advertising images appearing on storefronts or in magazines and – importantly – social media content. Dove, Boots, PureGym and Barry-M have already signed the Body Image Pledge, however Dr Luke is calling on more companies to take a stand.
MPs from seven different parties supported Dr Luke. Some notable signatories are Jeremy Hunt, Steve Baker, Caroline Nokes, John McDonnell and Jim Shannon.
Dr Luke Evans MP said “The Prime Minister will be aware of my campaign to have digitally altered images carry a label. Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week, and there are 1.25 million people with eating disorders and 1 million people using steroids. 84 Members of this House from 7 parties have signed my open letter to companies to pledge not to alter their images in their adverts. Will the Prime Minister support that Pledge and for those who aren’t taking that pledge will he vow to make sure that we consider labelling digitally altered images where body proportions are affected?”
In response, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “I thank my honourable friend for his fantastic campaign. He and I have talked about it at length, and I do think there is clearly a risk to mental health as young people are given unrealistic expectations of how they should look because of the [images] that they see. I think that the kitemark suggestion that he has brought forward is extremely useful and I will make sure that we follow it up as part of our mental health plan.”
The MP continues to build on the growing work surrounding body image, after the Women and Equalities Committee published a report into this issue and the current enquiry by the Health and Social Care Select Committee.