MP launches Body Confidence Awards

MPs have stepped up the pressure on beauty brands that “rip of consumers with dishonest images” by recognising brands that promote body confidence and positive images under an awards programme.

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bareMinerals: Be a Force of Beauty campaign

The launch of the Body Confidence Awards aims to “challenge the narrow ‘ideal’ of beauty perpetuated by the media and other industries” and follows the evidence session for the media and advertising industry last week.

The awards are being launched by Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson in partnership with cosmetics brand bareMinerals and coincides with the brand’s latest ad campaign “Be a Force of Beauty”. The brand eschewed airbrushing and used “blind casting” to choose its models in a bid to “challenge the norm of the beauty industry by celebrating confidence and beauty rather than just how you look”.

Swinson began campaigning for body confidence in 2006 with with Lynne Featherstone, now equalities minister, who runs a separate government campaign for body confidence under the same name.

Brands such as L’Oreal have attracted criticism for excessive airbrushing in the past and have been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for making misleading claims.

There will be eight categories in the Body Confidence Awards in April, which will recognise brands, organisations or individuals that promote a positive body image. It is also being supported by the British Fashion Council, Mumsnet and the Central YMCA, which is acting as the secretariat of the APPG on Body Confidence.

Swinson says: “The beauty and advertising industries need to stop ripping off consumers with dishonest images. There needs to be much more diversity in advertising – different skin colours, body shapes, sizes and ages. Studies show that people want to see more authenticity from brands. Images can be aspirational without being faked.”

“There are companies who don’t shy away from realism and take steps to actively promote body confidence. I’m delighted that the Campaign for Body Confidence will be celebrating best practice through the first Body Confidence Awards.”

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