"Fatty" jibes could be a hate crime say MPs
Calling someone “fatty” could be treated as a hate crime, according to a group of MPs including Stephen Williams who are looking at the nation’s problems with body image.
A report released recommends a “review into the scale of the problem of appearance-based discrimination and how this would be best tackled" and that “this may include exploring whether an amendment to the Equalities Act would be the most appropriate way of tackling such discrimination” - suggesting that ridiculing someone as 'fat' could become a hate crime.
The report has been released by the all party parliamentary group on body image, set up to better understand the causes of body image dissatisfaction.
Bristol MP Stephen Williams was vice chair of the group of MPs who took part in the inquiry.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The inquiry leading to the report also says that more than half of the British public suffers from a negative body image.
Girls as young as five now worry about their size and appearance, with children in danger of picking up their parents’ body-related anxieties, according to the report.
According to Reflections on Body Image, co-authored by the MPs and health and education charity Central YMCA, negative body image was seen as an underlying cause of health and relationship problems, a key contributor to low self-esteem and a major barrier to participation in school and progression at work.
Appearance is also the greatest cause of bullying in schools, evidence suggested.
The report identified a growing amount of evidence that body image dissatisfaction was on the increase, with the issue seen to be one affecting all of society regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, body size or shape.
APPG chairwoman Jo Swinson MP said: “Body image dissatisfaction in the UK has reached an all-time high and the pressure to conform to an unattainable body ideal is wreaking havoc on the self-esteem of many people.”
The report made a series of recommendations targeted at policy-makers, healthcare professionals, industry and the education sector designed to change public perceptions, attitudes and behavioural patterns.
These include compulsory body image and self-esteem lessons for primary and secondary schools, getting advertisers to commit to running campaigns that reflect consumer desire for “authenticity and diversity”, and reframing public health messages in “weight-neutral” language.
It also called for a review of broadcast and editorial codes on reporting body-related issues, a review of the evidence base to support the long term efficacy and safety of diets and a separate code of regulations governing cosmetic surgery advertising.