Campaign for Body Confidence and US body image expert join forces

Jean K event

Psychologist Susie Orbach, Jean Kilbourne and Jo Swinson

Body confidence campaigners recently welcomed to Parliament internationally recognised speaker, author and film-maker on the image of women in advertising, Jean Kilbourne.

The Campaign for Body Confidence, co-founded by Jo, and the All-Party Group on Body Image hosted a screening and Q&A session with Jean to discuss her latest film, Killing Us Softly 4.

The film uncovers some of advertising’s damaging images and messages that reinforce unrealistic and unhealthy ideas of beauty and femininity. Jean spoke to attendees about her 40 year-long career speaking out against the negative portrayal of women in advertising and cultural emphasis on physical perfection from a very young age.

Commenting, Jo said:

“Jean has made an extensive and important contribution to the advertising and body image debate, and it was a real privilege to hear about her experiences.

“As Jean and the Campaign for Body Confidence have both pointed out, today’s advertising media promotes a very narrow definition of beauty. These unrealistic images of super-skinny flawless bodies send negative messages out to people from a very young age that any deviation from this ideal is unacceptable. With body dissatisfaction on the increase, it’s time we thought critically about how the pictures we see daily are damaging society.

Commenting, Jean Kilbourne said:

“It was very exciting to hear about the efforts of the Campaign for Body Confidence and the All-Party Group on Body Image to highlight the current unhealthy and unrealistic portrayal of beauty in the media. This action for change is exactly the kind of thing I have worked toward throughout my career, and it was a pleasure to speak to the body confidence campaigners.”

  1. For more information on Jean Kilbourne, visit

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