FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Caroline Nokes MP Nominated
for Grassroot Diplomat Award for Body Image Campaign

Caroline Nokes MP

Caroline Nokes MP

London, UK – April 20, 2016 – Caroline Nokes MP for Romsey and Southampton North has been shortlisted from over 100 politicians this year for the 4th Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises outstanding politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. Ms Nokes has been nominated for her campaign in leading policy changes against unrealistic body standards for women within the fashion industry.

While the subject of body image has been open for scrutiny in the media, parliamentarians have only recently entered into the debate at government level. Ms Nokes joined the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Body Image in 2011 with the objective to change the representation of unhealthy body weight in the media and fashion industry.

The APPG started an evidence session and open consultations with various members involved such as top modelling agencies in December 2015, to determine the best action to keep underweight models off the UK runway. At the enquiry, models as young as 16 testified that agencies pressured them to slim down and take up diets even when their hip bones were clearly visible, subjugating them to conform to unrealistic standards of beauty. A report published by the APPG in May 2012 showed that the majority of adults in the UK suffer from negative body image, and it is seen as being associated with a number of damaging consequences for health and wellbeing.

As Ms Nokes explained, “There is a carrot and a stick here. The carrot is that we want there to be healthier images of beauty that we can all aspire to as a population, and the stick is ' get your house in order or we will look at ways in which legislation might be possible’.”

Ms Nokes had publicly shamed the modelling industry for “its wall of silence” on the issue of super-skinny models, who are part of a wider body-image problem and is acting to offer legislation options for the government. One of several legislation option includes making Personal, Social and Health Education a statutory subject in schools across Britain that touches upon healthy body image. She also pushed the APPG to work with groups such as the YMCA, Dove, Allwalks Beyond the Catwalk to organise the ‘Be Real Campaign’ which aims to create a social movement for change and body confidence for young people. This includes a focus on encouraging girls aged 14-18 to be more active in sports such as swimming without being conscious of their physical appearance.

Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Executive Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “All too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals in a position of power, who work tirelessly for their communities. The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others like them to follow suit. Grassroot Diplomat winners go beyond their job descriptions and those shortlisted for the award should be proud to be recognised this far.”

Ms Nokes continues to lead the way for change in the way society and the fashion industry influences body image, aiming for a more positive perspective by promoting alternative policies in this area.

Join Caroline Nokes MP and other government nominees for the gala dinner at The May Fair Hotel, London on Wednesday 20th April, 2016. For ticket information please visit: http://www.grassrootdiplomat.org/book-tickets or call 07511 816689.

Further details about the awards can be found on: www.grassrootdiplomat.org/annual-awards

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About Grassroot Diplomat

Grassroot Diplomat is a non-profit diplomatic consultancy with the mission to build trust and strengthen relationships between governments and civil society. As an independent agency, Grassroot Diplomat shows no allegiance to a solitary government but will act in the interest of the people, no matter where they are or what state their country is in. We focus on improving public diplomacy activities by engaging government officials on sustainable social campaigns and investment projects that offers a positive rate of return for their people.

Contact
Nina Maxwell
Grassroot Diplomat
Voice Message: +44 (0) 207 608 5532
media@grassrootdiplomat.org
www.grassrootdiplomat.org

Claire Pearsall
Office of Caroline Nokes MP
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7219 1468
claire.pearsall@parliament.uk

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