Australia Launches Body Image Initiative Targeting Media and Fashion Industry
June 29, 2010
On Sunday, Australian Youth Minister, Kate Ellis, announced a new initiative to promote healthy body image among youth--the world’s first such government sponsored effort. Working in collaboration with the Butterfly Foundation, an eating disorder awareness and support group, the government will be issuing a “body image friendly” logo to magazines, modeling agencies, retailers and designers that are compliant with its voluntary industry code of conduct. Among the guidelines stipulated in the code of conduct are to feature a diverse range of bodies in advertisements. Also, the code recommends against the use of images featuring digitally altered people’s bodies and features, and to explicitly label images as such if used. The code was developed based on research by the National Advisory Group on Body Image formed by the government in 2009. In addition, the Butterfly Foundation has also received additional funds to run programs to train educators on teaching young people media literacy skills and building self-esteem. The Women’s Media Center continues to address issues surrounding the media portrayal of women and girls. On October 22, we will be launching the SPARK Summit: Challenging the Sexualization of Girls, a program for teen girls, girls-serving organizations, media professionals, researchers, funders, thought leaders and allies to fight the objectification of girls in the media. To be held at Hunter College, New York City, the summit is organized in collaboration with ASAP Initiative at Hunter/CUNY, Hardy Girls, Healthy Women and True Child. For more updates on this initiative, join SPARK on Facebook, follow @SPARKsummit on Twitter or email SPARKsummit [at] gmail.com. In the past, The Women’s Media Center, in collaboration with Girls Learning International has also run Girls Investigate: Our Views on Media, a four-part multimedia series that explores girls’ ideas about popular culture, social media and the intersections between the two. See here, here, here, here and here.