I see that a German magazine, Brigitte, is catching up with Liberal Democrat policy. You can read here a Times Online article about the fact that this magazine has now resolved to use real women in its pages.
The Liberal Democrats, myself as Equalities Spokesperson and Jo Swinson, MP as Chair of the Policy Working Group welcome this debate widening. So many women and young people are made to feel bad by the constant drip drip of perfected images (perfected by airbrushing and retouching) that surround us on a daily basis. The LibDem policy arising from the working group and passed at last autumn’s conference would see advertisers have to inform the public whether the ad has been retouched. It’s not about stopping advertisers – it’s about introducing some honesty and transparency.
I strongly recommend this bbc piece to show just why the sexist nature of the Real Women campaign is so misguided:
“Steroid abuse is a growing health problem for teenage boys who are under increasing pressure to look good”
“Seventeen-year-old Matthew Dear paid the ultimate price for steroid misuse…Four weeks after he started taking the steroids, Matthew died. The cause of death was given as the misuse of anabolic steroids.”
Real Women campaign sexist? Presumably you haven’t met Jo Swinson. If you had (like I have), you would have found that she is also worried about a growing obsession on personal appearance among boys as well as girls.
Yes I know Jo isn’t sexist – she has an good track record in terms of opposing gender feminist policies.
However, just because she’s 10 times better than your average Labour MP doesn’t put her beyond criticism. If she was as concerned about men as women then this would have been a gender neutral campaign.
Although someone like her actually remembers all the males who feel the need to take steroids (or become anorexic), the very nature of the campaign means the less enlightened people automatically ignore such facts and thus the problem is completely ignored and goes unsolved.
On top of that if you have a campaign inaccurately portraying only women as the vicitms you get man haters such as Harman jumping on the bandwagon too.
Its just another example of a policy guided by the principles of the nanny state.
MPs like Swinson and Featherstone don’t believe that we’re a nation of adults capable of looking after ourselves in this big bad world. We’re viewed as little more than infants who need protecting from the interests of big business with their poisonous world views.
We already have laws that concern the misrepresentation of products when advertised. We don’t need yet more legislation covering the thoughts and feelings of people that have been labelled victims by some think tank.