Responding to Dr Luke Evans' Digitally Altered Body Images Bill
Responding to the Bill that Dr Luke Evans, MP presented today in Parliament, Dr Antonis Kousoulis, Director for England and Wales at the Mental Health Foundation said:
“We welcome the discussion that Dr Luke Evans, MP has brought to Parliament with this Bill. The MP’s concerns about the impact of image editing on young people’s mental health are well founded. There are many pressures on young people and adults to look ‘perfect’ and our own research shows that image editing apps are negatively impacting the wellbeing of millions.
“Our Body Image report* from 2019 found that one in four (25%) young people aged 18-24 said they felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they had felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. One in eight (12%) had edited pictures of themselves to change their face or body shape in the previous year.
“Labelling edited images is just one approach and unfortunately there is a scarcity of research to show it will solve the overall problem. For labelling (or any other industry change) to work, it will need to be co-produced with experts by experience and its implementation needs to be carefully evaluated. We applaud Dr Luke Evans MP for his work drawing attention to this issue in Parliament and we will continue to support and share our research on this issue. ”
Notes to Editors
*Mental Health Foundation (2019), Body Image: How we think and feel about our bodies. Available here
The Foundation has led research and campaigns on the connection between body image and mental health. See more here.