Manipulated photographs of stick-thin models are plastered across the city, damaging the self-esteem of young people. It’s time this changed, say Megan Guest, Molly Horner, Lucy Freer and Alison Coates
Body confidence is an issue that affects thousands of girls every day. They look in the mirror and think that their appearance is not good enough.
Our generation is particularly affected by a lack of body confidence because the modern media and fashion industries now try to impose on us the “perfect” way that women and girls should look. Their airbrushed images of thin women prevent girls feeling confident about their body and being who they really are.
This use of unnaturally thin models to advertise every sort of product – from sportswear to furniture – undermines girls’ confidence about the way they look. But it’s not only girls being pressured to look a certain way, many boys are too. The photos of products that boys want to buy are nearly always advertised by muscular, six-pack men, another ridiculous and unhealthy perspective.
That is why we started the York Campaign For Body Confidence. This is an issue affecting us and many teenagers around the world.
Every day we are exposed to manipulated images of women around York, as you see in the photos we have taken. These images make us think that this is the only version of a healthy body that we should aspire to. Clearly it’s not. To achieve that skinny body, models go on extremely unhealthy diets.
One of the main reasons we started this campaign is because we four, Megan Guest, Molly Horner, Lucy Freer and Alison Coates, were walking around town and saw airbrushed photos in nearly all the shops. You can tell they have been altered by how the skin is one natural, perfect colour all the way through, and how you can’t find any wrinkles under or around the eyes, which most people have from an early age.
We want more girls to challenge these fake pictures and the prejudices they feed. It’s not fair or right to pressure girls (especially at a vulnerable age) to look a certain way and change how we look.
We are trying to get shops in York to take down pictures of airbrushed and size zero models advertising their products and replace them with pictures up of real customers for a week to promote body confidence!
We took these images in York
- To read more about the York Campaign For Body Confidence, visit their blog
- You can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter
- To hear Molly and Alison on Woman’s Hour, go here