Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks

The news comes as equalities minister Lynne Featherstone gets ready to meet with advertising executives and magazine editors to discuss how to stop promoting unrealistic body images.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, the minister said that she will push for a Kitemark or health warning on airbrushed photographs, warning viewers that they are not real. “I am very keen that children and young women should be informed about airbrushing, so they don’t fall victim to looking at an image and thinking that anyone can have a 12in waist. It is so not possible,” said Featherstone.

In her interview, Featherstone says that she wants to see more women of different shapes and sizes used in magazine photoshoots, including curvaceous role models such as Christina Hendricks (pictured), who plays the office manager Joan Holloway in Mad Men, the US TV series about the 1960s advertising industry.

Her comments follow calls from academics and Lib-Dems last year to lobby the Advertising Standards Authority to introduce notices on ads that feature airbrushed models.

A letter from academics Dr Helga Dittmar of the University of Sussex and Dr Emma Halliwell of the University of the West of England was sent to the ASA, with the warning of the negative impact that airbrushed images can have on the self-esteem of young people, especially when it makes models look super-thin.

In the past, beauty brand Dove, celebrated for its groundbreaking ’real women’ ad campaign, has also come under attack following allegations that the pictures, which featured ordinary women in plain, white underwear, had been digitally altered. Unilever-owned Dove denied the claim.

This story first appeared on pitch