The Youth Select Committee is conducting an inquiry into Body Image and the impact it has on the wellbeing of children and young people. This topical issue was chosen by the Youth Select Committee after almost one million young people voted it as one of the top ten issues in the UK Youth Parliament’s ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot in 2016.
Following its call for written evidence on the topic of Body Image, the Committee heard evidence from experts including bloggers, social media companies and academics on Friday 7 July. On Friday 14 July the Committee will hear further evidence from teachers, mental health professionals, young people and government officials, inside a Committee Room at the Houses of Parliament which is usually used by MPs.
Just like UK Parliament Select Committees, the Youth Select Committee will produce a report based on its findings, which will be sent to the Government for comment. The eleven committee members are aged 13-18 and include Members of the Youth Parliament, Youth Councillors, a Youth Mayor and representatives from each of the devolved nations.
Thomas Copeland, 18, Chair of the Youth Select Committee said: “This year the Youth Select Committee will be examining Body Image. Body Image has become an issue of considerable concern for young people, so it is crucial that they are given a voice on this important subject. We are really looking forward to hearing what young people and professionals highlight as the key areas of potential policy improvement throughout the inquiry.”
Friday 14 July – Grimond Room, Portcullis House
Panel 1: Mental health and education professionals
– Liz Ritchie, Body Image therapist and psychotherapist
– Rosamund McNeil, Head of Education and Equality Policy, National Union of Teachers
– Natasha Devon MBE, Founder, Self-Esteem Team
Panel 2: Young people
– Cameron Wood, Project Leader, Young Person’s Network, Herefordshire
– Susie Williams, NHS Youth Forum
– Kirstie Stage, Member of the UK Youth Parliament for West Wiltshire
Panel 3: Government officials
– Emily Antcliffe, Deputy Director for Mental Health, Department of Health
– Tara Kaufmann, Head of Women’s Engagement and Gender Representation in the Government Equalities Office
The evidence sessions will be open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Entry is via Portcullis House and it is advisable to allow 30 minutes to pass through security checks.
The Committee’s first oral evidence session received coverage from BBC News, ITV New and Channel 5 News. You can see some of the coverage below:
Body appearance professor warns that images posted online are cultivated saying even our friends might take 10 photos before selecting it, then editing it with filters and this causes body confidence issues that is not real life.
Posted by Channel 5 News on Friday, July 7, 2017
The Youth Select Committee has grilled bloggers about body image following a noticeable increase in body confidence issues in the UK.This blogger speaks about the way in which skin colour is perceived.
Posted by ITV News on Friday, July 7, 2017
Last year the Youth Select Committee conducted an inquiry focusing on the topic of Racism and Racial Discrimination. The 2016 Committee took evidence over 4 oral evidence sessions and received written submissions from 67 contributors. Witnesses included teachers, young people, charities, academics, service providers and the Mayor of Bristol. Read last year’s Committee report, which contains a variety of recommendations for Government, and the Government’s response, which offers an answer to each of the Youth Select Committee’s recommendations.