By Malcolm Farr
The Daily Telegraph
November 20, 2008 12:00am
A NATIONAL "body image" code will require media outlets to portray women of all shapes and sizes.
And magazines would have to tell readers if photos of women have been digitally altered to make them fit a particular physical type.
Glamorising extremely underweight models and celebrities would also be opposed under the Federal Government code.
Yesterday Youth Minister Kate Ellis announced the conduct protocols to help fight what she called "the devastating effects of eating disorders and body image issues".
The code would also put a 16-year age limit on models used in adult fashion shows, magazine shoots and TV programs.
It would be voluntary, but most media groups were expected to sign on after deliberations of a national advisory group of industry representatives and health advisers finished next year.
"The advisory group will consider matters such as the disclosure of altered and enhanced images, the representation of a diversity of body shapes, fair placement or diet, exercise and cosmetic surgery advertising," Ms Ellis said.
It would also be aimed at "avoiding the glamorisation of severely underweight models or celebrities".
Ms Ellis criticised her older male parliamentary colleagues for not giving Australia's body image issue the attention it deserved.
"As a rule, Parliaments reflect the upbringing and world outlook of its members," she said. "With the make-up of our Parliaments, should we then be surprised that issues important to youth have been under-represented?"
Ms Ellis said issues such as equal pay, childcare and work-and-family balance once were considered extreme issues but are now mainstream.
She said that in the same way body image problems had been a "silent epidemic" which had to be acknowledged. Young women lost self-esteem and confidence, felt ashamed of their bodies and some descended into dangerous eating disorders.
"The consequences of poor body image affect real people in powerful ways, leaving families, mates, schools and our community to feel the pain and pick up the pieces," Ms Ellis said.
Yesterday a parliamentary committee considered another aspect of care for young Australian bodies - advertising of junk food.
At issue is a bid by the Greens to legislate to limit advertising for fast foods on TV, while the industry wants self-regulation.
The Australian Beverages Council told the committee in Canberra "there is no proof there is a cause and effect" between ads and obesity in the young.
The food industry wants to introduce a voluntary code banning commercials for unhealthy snacks which are directed at children aged under 12 during children's programs.
However, the Australian Psychological Society said children under eight couldn't distinguish between advertisements and programs.
Dr Kate Russell (featured in video above)
Faculty of Education & Social Work
Dr Kate Russell is a recent appointment in the Human Movement and Health Education program and researches in the area of gender identity and body satisfaction as a consequence of sport and physical activity participation. Her research highlights the impact the school context can have on perceptions of femininity and masculinity and body image concerns of young people. Her publications include three articles and a book on a research project completed for the Football Association in the UK, in the area of evaluating child protection strategies in a sporting context.
Kate has a background as a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and an interest in the socio cultural aspects of physicality. She was awarded the NZ-UK Link Foundation in association with the Academy of Learned Societies for Social Sciences travel award in 2003 to spend six weeks in New Zealand researching female rugby player's body satisfaction.
The Rudd government is to introduce a "Body image code" Australians are to be protected from incorrect body images and when this is not possible we will be made aware the image we are viewing is indeed deemed to be incorrect?
So what do we do when God / Dear Leader forbid, we have viewed an incorrect body image? will we be required to call an emergency hot line to report the offending body image ? will it be an offence to be in possession of such images ? will it be an offence to have an incorrect BODY or to know or to associate with someone who is deemed to have an incorrect body ?
This is yet another imposition upon Australians by the dead hand of the Rudd socialist, Union financed, Labor government.
(Madame) Kate Ellis,Minister for "Youth" has been hyped up by the main stream media as Australia's "most glamorous politician", closely followed by deputy Labor leader (Madame)Julia Gillard,I believe no further evidence is needed to substantiate the claim that Australia is fast becoming the land of the lowest common denominator
Madame Ellis and Madame Gillard, perfect examples of the new Australian "Womin" clearly not exhibiting any traits of "incorrect body image" Australia's pure,just and correct Mothers, please write to these Dear Ministers to seek guidance on how your daughters can best emulate the preferred and correct body image as shown by these two Dear Ministers, Madame Ellis and Madame Gillard, lest you and your daughters are to be accused of exhibiting incorrect body image to the Australian people and as such invoke unfavourable reaction from, correct thinking Australians, that would cause such discomfort that would make for unhappy times and discourse amongst the Australian community.
If this was to happen Dear Leader Lu Kewan (Kevin 07) and Dear family,would have an unhappy heart and would cry many nights resulting in un neccessarilly diverting Dear Leader and Dear Family away from their efforts of ensuring all of mankind was full of happy and just life.