Niemtus, Z. The Guardian. Published online: 20 June 2016
What do Sadiq Khan and Barbie have in common? They’re both waging war on unrealistic body image pressures. The London mayor recently announced that he will ban adverts on London transport that “demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies”. The move comes a year after the infamous “beach-body ready” campaign, which, in trying to sell protein powder, sparked a nationwide discussion about the stress and anxiety advertising can cause.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, one of the most famous bodies in the world has undergone a transformation, as Barbie’s 36in bust and 18in waist (which, according to scientists, would leave her with too little body fat to menstruate) has evolved into a variety of body shapes and skin colours. Both are steps in the right direction, but there’s no denying that your students will still have to navigate a world full of unhealthy images and pressure. So how can you help them manage it?
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