Pass legislation on filtered images and some cosmetic procedures, MPs say

Pass legislation on filtered images and some cosmetic procedures, MPs say

A botox injection in a woman's lips.  Ps call for stricter standards (Alamy/PA)

A botox injection in a woman’s lips. Ps call for stricter standards (Alamy/PA)

More needs to be done to prevent body image dissatisfaction, including putting logos on some filtered images and new training standards for people offering certain cosmetic procedures, MPs said.

MPs on the House of Commons Health and Welfare Committee said the impact of body image on mental and physical health is “far-reaching” and that the Government is “not doing enough to understand the extent of the risks” related to body image discontent.

A new report from the committee is calling on the government to introduce legislation so that “commercial images” showing bodies that have been manipulated in any way – including changing body proportions or skin color – are legally required to bear a logo to show the Alerting viewers to this has been digitally altered.

We’ve heard of some disturbing experiences – an assembly line approach with procedures done no questions asked, procedures gone wrong, use of dirty premises

Jeremy Hunt, Chair of the Health and Welfare Committee

MEPs also urged ministers to stop influencers from altering their image.

Meanwhile, the committee also called for action to reduce the “assembly-line” approach to non-surgical cosmetic procedures — like Botox injections or chemical peels — by introducing a licensing regime for providers.

This should also include minimum training standards for people providing these services and a “cooling-off period” between approval and implementation of the process, MEPs said.

Meanwhile, consistent with Botox, dermal fillers should be prescription drugs, the group added.

They also urged the government to do more to understand the “rise in dissatisfaction with body image among the population, including the impact of social media.”

The committee’s chair, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said: “The Government must act urgently to end the situation in which anyone, regardless of training or qualifications, can perform non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

“We’ve heard of some distressing experiences – a conveyor belt approach with procedures done no questions asked, procedures gone wrong, use of dirty premises.

“Throughout our investigation, it was clear that some groups are particularly vulnerable to exploitation in this growing market, which is largely unregulated.

Jeremy Hunt has called for government action over non-surgical cosmetic procedures (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA) ((PA Media)

Jeremy Hunt has called for government action over non-surgical cosmetic procedures (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA) ((PA Media)

“We now need a timeline for a patient safety-centric licensing system to mitigate these risks.

“We hope Ministers will listen to our recommendations and set about creating the safety standards that anyone seeking treatment can expect.”

The report also calls for more to be done to tackle obesity and prevent children from developing body image problems at a young age.

MEPs called on the government to limit multibuy offers for foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar.

In the meantime, the government should review the increasing use of anabolic steroids for cosmetic purposes, the group said. MEPs proposed a safety campaign for vulnerable people.

Mr Hunt told Sky News: “There are plenty of backyard cowboys where you can show up and have non-surgical cosmetic procedures to change your face and the shape of your nose.

“We’re saying this shouldn’t be something you can just show up and do on the spot, there should be a cooling off period.

“And in particular, whoever is doing this procedure should have a duty to see and talk to you about your full medical history, including your mental health history, as it may not have anything to do with your appearance and it has to do with mental health issues.

“You have to look at the root cause of these problems and not change your face.”

He added: “In a way, access is too easy for people who are feeling depressed or concerned about their body image. They can have these procedures done spontaneously, without due consideration, and then find out that the real problem has not really been solved.”

He continued: “We now believe that around 60% of 17-19 year olds could have a possible eating disorder, so that’s a very dramatic increase over the last few decades.

“And social media seems to be one of the causes – we’re asking for some research to be done so we can get that right.

“But at least when commercial companies are Photoshopping images to make people thinner than they would be in real life, we think that should be flagged — we think people looking at those images should know that this is not a real person.

“And that’s part of how we can help people use social media more consciously, know some of the tricks of the trade if you will, and with that stop that constant focus on our bodies that’s like that harmful to us is so many young people, especially young women.

“I think the social media landscape needs an overhaul in areas like this, especially when it affects young people.”

Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer of the British Beauty Council, urged the government to follow up on the committee’s recommendations, adding: “We want a beauty industry that is a beacon for positive posture, with world-leading standards of care.

“Regulation for non-surgical cosmetic procedures cannot come soon enough and while the Government has committed to addressing this, current partisan politics means such policy changes are in limbo. The schedules are unclear.”

Tom Quinn, director of external affairs at eating disorders charity Beat, said: “We welcome the Health and Welfare Committee’s proposal to ensure that digitally altered images are clearly identified.

“While viewing irresponsible advertisements or images on social media would not be the sole cause of developing an eating disorder, the pressure to conform to a certain body shape or size can have an incredibly detrimental effect on self-esteem and well-being, particularly for those who are younger people. ”

We know the devastating impact issues surrounding body image can have on a person’s mental and physical health, and we continue to take steps to support those affected

government spokesman

A government spokesman said: “We recognize the devastating impact issues related to body image can have on an individual’s mental and physical health and we continue to take steps to support those affected.

“As part of our ongoing efforts, we will implement a national licensing system to prevent exploitation, improve safety and ensure individuals make informed and safe decisions about non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

“This will build on the existing support we have put in place, from expanding mental health services – including for people with body dysmorphic disorder – with an additional £2.3billion a year by 2024 to amending the law giving underage access to botox and filler treatments for cosmetic purposes.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.