Six in 10 women say they still don’t see enough body diversity in the media

ITV1’s Loose Women launches Body Stories ‘Celebrating Every Body’campaign, featuring Carol McGiffin, Dame Kelly Holmes, Gloria Hunniford OBE, Judi Love, Katie Piper OBE and Sophie Morgan (SWNS)
ITV1’s Loose Women launches Body Stories ‘Celebrating Every Body’campaign, featuring Carol McGiffin, Dame Kelly Holmes, Gloria Hunniford OBE, Judi Love, Katie Piper OBE and Sophie Morgan (SWNS)

A study of 2,000 female adults found despite 42 per cent believing body diversity has improved in the past five years, they feel there is still a long way to go.

Sadly, three quarters avoid looking in the mirror because of how it makes them feel about their body.

As a result, 78 per cent believe it’s important to see relatable body types in the media to normalise differences and encourage acceptance (both 65 per cent).

The research was commissioned to launch ITV1’s Loose Women Body Stories campaign, to mark International Women’s Day.

Ahead of a special Body Stories episode airing on 8th March at 12:30pm on ITV1 and ITVX, editor of Loose Women, Sally Shelford, said: "Loose Women’s Body Stories campaign was originally launched in 2017 to inspire and promote body confidence for all of our viewers.

“We are so proud that it is returning for International Women’s Day with a powerful, joyful shoot and an equally powerful message on the importance of celebrating and seeing body diversity."

The findings also revealed 57 per cent have no body confidence - but 23 per cent would feel better about themselves if they saw people they identify with in the media.

Similarly, 76 per cent want to see more diversity reflected in high street fashion brands.

Three quarters have avoided wearing certain clothing to prevent showing off their body, including bikinis (63 per cent), crop tops (58 per cent) and short skirts (49 per cent).

While 65 per cent admitted a lack of body confidence has stopped them from doing things they’d like to, such as having their photo taken (70 per cent), going swimming (58 per cent) and wearing activewear (39 per cent).

With 24 per cent blaming a general lack of confidence in themselves and 18 per cent putting it down to feeling insecure about their body.

Many have missed or cancelled events, including birthday celebrations (26 per cent) and dates (18 per cent), due to feeling insecure about their body (18 per cent) and struggling to find anything to wear to suit their shape or size (17 per cent).

When it comes to social media, 37 per cent said it has a negative impact on how they feel - compared to just four per cent who claim it’s positive – and feel unconfident (32 per cent), annoyed (18 per cent) and ashamed (14 per cent) when they see unrealistic and filtered images of others.

Contrastingly, those polled via OnePoll feel encouraged (26 per cent), assured (20 per cent), and happy (18 per cent) when they do see their body type represented in the media.

This year’s Loose Women Body Stories campaign, “Celebrating Every Body”, sees a host of Loose Women panelists, including Carol McGiffin, Dame Kelly Holmes, Gloria Hunniford OBE, Judi Love, Katie Piper OBE, and Sophie Morgan, take part in an inspiring Body Stories photo shoot for the first time, as well as candidly share their own body stories - in a bid to help viewers feel seen and represented.