A Conservative MP is calling for more realistic representations of body image in advertising and, importantly, on social media.

David Johnston MP for Wantage and Didcot has written to national organisations in a cross-party letter signed by more than 70 MPs to urge against photoshopping body proportions.

The Body Image Pledge invites brands, charities and organisations to voluntarily commit to not digitally manipulate body proportions in any direct advertising or promotional material, including images appearing on storefronts.

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The letter highlights the harmful effects that viewing digitally altered bodies can have on a person’s self-esteem and body image.

As many as one in three teenagers feel shame about their body, with 94 per cent of girls aged 11-21 believing more needs to be done to protect young people from body image pressures online.

Herald Series: MP David Johnston MP David Johnston (Image: Public)

Action has already been taken by some well-known organisations with Dove, Boots, Barry M, PureGym and the Mental Health Foundation already signing up to the pledge.

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The letter states: “Supporting the Body Image Pledge would be a fantastic first step in the right direction. We have the potential to make a real difference to how we as a society view body image, which will greatly impact our mental and physical health as a nation.”

Mr Johnston said: “By making this commitment not to alter images, organisations can help reduce the number of people who suffer from eating disorders or low body confidence.”

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