Advertisements for cosmetic surgeries have been banned from targeting under-18s.
The UK advertising watchdog made the decision after evidence from the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) confirmed that children and young people are vulnerable to body-image pressures, which could, in turn, have an impact on their mental health.
Emma Borquaye is a Christian pioneer for young girls and founder of online magazine Girl Got Faith. She told YCW that it is not just young girls who feel the pressure of beauty standards:
“I don’t think that is even just for young people, even me, I’ll be scrolling through social media, I’m 29 years old and I will look and I’ll feel pressure sometimes and be like: ‘Why don’t I look like that?’ or you see a certain beauty product and you think: ‘That will really help me.’
“But actually it is about doing that work to help our young people to understand their self-worth and know that we are so much more than what we look like.
“That we have so much more worth within us, through the things that we carry, the things that we’re talented at, the things that we bring to this world.
“We all bring so much more than just our image. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and I think that’s a brilliant Bible verse.
“But I don’t know if it’s super helpful as the Church or as Christians to start putting blanket bans on things.
“Especially when we know the root of it is actually insecurity and low self-esteem.”
But although Borquaye welcomes the decision, she believes simply banning ads isn’t going to stop young people being advertised to.
“We know that today…one of the main marketing strategies is influencer marketing.
“So I think it’s actually more about opening up that conversation and thinking more about what the adverts that young people are seeing every day, is aspiring them to be.
“I do think more needs to be done, but I think this is a step in the right direction.”