Showing posts from May, 2018

What Role does Social Media play in Young People’s Perceptions of their Bodies?

Social media is often referred to as a ‘toxic’ or ‘dangerous’ environment for young people, particularly in the case of body image. Celebrity and/or advertising cultures, and increased exposure to vast amounts of unregulated content are commonly identified as ‘risky’ online practices (see Fardouly and Vartanian, 2016). Yet, the extent to which social media impacts on young people’s perceptions of their bodies is relatively unknown. There is little understanding of the types of content young people engage with, and how and why their knowledge and behaviours are influenced. 

To better understand how to support young people’s body image-related knowledge and behaviours, we need to learn from them about how they experience social media. It is well-established that young people make extensive use of social media and for many young people, social media can be regarded as an extension of self and a primary mode of communication, entertainment and social engagement (Goodyear and Armour, forthc…

Dying For a Tan:The Case for Prohibiting the Use of Commercial Sunbeds

From the 1920’s onwards, tanning was seen as aspirational.   It spoke of foreign holidays and the lifestyle of the rich and famous. It was a matter of “looking good” and “looking well”.  The growth of the domestic tanning industry followed and tanning salons became common in the high street and in the health club.  However, over time concerns began to arise due to the health risks of sunbeds and in particular the link with skin cancer.

In 2006, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published the first report by experts on sunbed use and its association with skin cancer or melanoma.   This meta-analysis of 19 studies of associations between the use of sunbeds and the risk of melanoma showed an increase of 15% in the risk of melanoma  amongst those who had used a sunbed compared to those who had not.  Subsequently the IARC added UV-emitting tanning devices to its list of group 1 carcinogens (‘carcinogenic to humans’), with evidence that …

Cosmetic surgery: Knowing your rights if something goes wrong

There is a great deal of confusion that surrounds the aesthetic industry and what procedures within it are subject to regulation. As the popularity of cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentation and rhinoplasty, continues to rise in the UK, so too do the number of complaints and the volume of incidents involving risky practices and untrained or inexperienced practitioners.
If you look up ‘cosmetic surgery’ on the internet, the results are crowded with 0% finance deals and 2-4-1 offers, encouraging individuals to commit quickly to potentially life-changing, and life-threatening, procedures. At the same time, the news is littered with tales of celebrities and everyday people who’ve undergone botched surgeries or have had painful reactions to poorly administered Botox or dermal fillers.
There is a great deal of societal pressure, particularly on women - who still have the vast majority of surgeries - to achieve the perfect ‘look’, which can be perpetuated by the likes of social m…