Today the ASA banned an advert from Yves Saint Laurent that pictured a model that it deemed 'Unhealthily underweight'. Be Real responds explaining how these kind of images impact on people's mental and physical health.
“This is a prime example of advertisers selecting models based on the outdated premise that the only way to sell products is by presenting an idealised view of the female body – in this case showing a model who is so thin that she is deemed unhealthily underweight.
Be Real is not about promoting one body type at the expense of another, however we are once again presented with an ‘aspirational ideal’ that is unattainable for the majority of people - we know that around 95 per cent of the population can never realistically attain the current body ideals being portrayed by many media and advertisers.
The pressure of feeling as though we need to live up to unachievable expectations not only causes low body confidence but often leads to unhealthy life choices and extreme approaches to weight loss – a fifth of adults admit to skipping meals to try and lose weight and more than one in 10 have considered cosmetic interventions to change the way they look. And many of us feel too ashamed or embarrassed to even try to improve our health - a third of us don’t exercise because of the way we look. How can we expect to feel confident about our bodies if we rarely see them reflected back at us?
We need media, advertisers and publishers to use images that show a diverse range of models to reflect what we really look like so we can feel more confident about who we are, which in turn will not only lead to a healthier attitude to our bodies but a society that values health above appearance.”