Social media influencers should be required to add a logo to images where their appearance has been heavily digitally-altered, according to one UK MP.
Dr. Luke Evans, an ex-GP-turned Tory MP, has introduced a Digitally Altered Body Image Bill to Parliament, which he says will require people paid to post on social media (influencers, advertisers, broadcasters, etc.) to be “honest and upfront” with the audience they’re targeting. The bill would require the key social networks to create the logo, which could then be added to altered posts.
Dr. Evans wants the logo to apply to posts where bodies and body parts have been edited to distort their real-life appearance. The MP for Bosworth in Leicestershire says the heavily-altered images on social media platforms are contributing to rising instances of eating disorders and issues with body confidence.
He told Sky News: “One of the biggest things I’m concerned about is people are trying to respond to an image that they can never actually get to.
“Because, if you doctor your image, make your biceps bigger, your waist slimmer – and there are multiple images reproduced across social media – the problem is you’re creating a perception that no matter what you do, when you go to the gym, no matter how good your diet is, you are never going to be able to reproduce that.”
“I’ve got no problem with people aspiring to be fit and healthy, but not in a warped sense that we can never achieve.”
The Sky report points out that eating disorders and body dysmorphia have dramatically increased during the pandemic. Between April and October last year there were 41% more hopsital admissions compared to the same period in 2022.
“51% of 7-10 year old girls feel “very happy” with how they look, but by age 11-16, when most girls start to use social media, this drops to just 16%,” the report says.