Be Real concern over London Fashion Week models

Posted on Nov 13, 2016

Denise Hatton from Be Real raises concerns over model choices at London Fashion Week 2016

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England, a founding partner of the Be Real Campaign for body confidence, said: Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England, a founding partner of the Be Real Campaign for body confidence, said: “Be Real is concerned at what appears to be a re-emergence of ultra-thin models at a recent Fashion Week event.

“Our campaign is fighting for a greater diversity of body types to be shown within music, media and advertising and, despite some positive work being done within the sector, it would be concerning if the catwalk has now returned to an “idealised” female body type to sell products.

“Events from Fashion Week are beamed to millions of people around the world and the danger is that some of the images we see may perpetuate a myth around how women ‘should’ look. In reality, the body types of many of the models are unobtainable for 95% of the population and contribute to the alarming statistic that one in four people in the UK suffer from body image anxiety.

“It is obvious to us that more work needs to be done and this is why the Be Real Campaign will launch its voluntary Body Image Code later this year.

“This Code, which already has a number of brands and retailers on board, will ask all industries to reflect the true diversity of the UK population by showing people of all shapes and sizes, skin tones, genders, ages, ethnicities, disfigurements, abilities and disabilities. It is also about using images of people as they are in real life, not Photoshopped extensively, so that any product or service is promoted by models whose body types are realistically attainable.

“In relation to Fashion Week events, in particular, the code reflects the need to promote healthy and age-appropriate models, with an emphasis on health and wellbeing rather than weight and appearance.

“We know it will take some time for a lot of organisations to achieve this but, for us, the code is about a journey of making positive changes around how people see and feel about their bodies. For some brands this is less of a journey, with Dove UK, Jacamo, JD Williams and Superdrug, in particular, all having fully embraced the Be Real Campaign as sponsors for many years.

“Dove’s work within schools around body confidence has been revolutionary in helping young people feel more confident about themselves. Later this year, we will also launch our Be Real Schools Body Confidence Campaign, which will help to foster discussions on body confidence between pupils, teachers and parents.

“Working with young people is essential in tackling this issue, however, only when the images we see on TV, catwalks and magazines reflect the reality of the population will we all be able to feel more body confident, leading to a healthier and happier nation.”