Is Spain moving in the right direction on issues regarding body image? What could we learn?

By now, you’ve probably either read something or heard something about a recent decision by Spain to curb the amount of advertising for cosmetic surgery, weight-loss pharmaceuticals, and certain beauty treatments on their airwaves.  According to a recent article, this decision was based on the government supported effort to help combat “forces that push girls into anorexia or bulimia.” The ban prohibits the broadcasting of advertisements which promote “the cult of the body” before 10 pm; although, according to the article, even stricter measures which were proposed did not pass. This newest law from Spain follows another that took affect  a few years ago, which tries to mandate that models who are perceived as too thin be prohibited from Spanish runways.

In a recent report I heard on the radio about the latest ban (sorry, can’t remember which show, and can’t find it on the web so far), a couple Spanish teenagers commented on the pressure they felt to be thin in their culture. It sounded like a very familiar story.

Although such legislation undoubtedly ends up serving a lot of good, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with it. On the one hand, I wonder if somehow it goes against the principals of free speech; and on the other, I wonder if the ban really goes far enough. I’m pretty torn on the issue, actually. The best-case scenario would be for the companies pushing the products in question to take responsibility for their actions and cease all advertising for such products. If people are interested in finding a particular product or service, they’ll find it. But, so far, we all know that advertising for these products is still out there.

I’m curious as to what our readers think about this ban and if this might be something we should be considering here in the U.S. as well. I also wonder if it’s appropriate to leave products like diet pills so prominently display in the isles with their super-attractive advertising, often featuring well known people who lend their names to boost sales of the product. Maybe these non-essential sorts of pharmaceuticals should also be banned?  If there are any thoughts out there on this topic, please share them with us.


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: