The Wrath of Khan Bikini Ban
(Damn it, tabloids; beat that headline!)
Every day I miss Boris Johnson more and more.
The new Mayor of London, Labourâ€™s Sadiq Khan, having managed to solve all the other urban problems besetting Europeâ€™s largest city, has now turned his attention to the matter of nefarious advertising on public transport. In line with his election commitment, Khan will ban ads that promote an “unrealistic or unhealthy” body image.
“As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising, which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies,” Mr Khan said.
“It is high time it came to an end. Nobody should feel pressurised, while they travel on the Tube or bus, into unrealistic expectations surrounding their bodies, and I want to send a clear message to the advertising industry about this.”
A few things I want to know:
Will this ban only apply to pictures of hot women in bikinis, or also to young men with flawless gym-sculpted physiques? Because Iâ€™m personally intimidated â€“ and body shamed – by pictures of young men with flawless gym-sculpted physiques.
What about unrealistically attractive people â€“ of both genders â€“ that are over-represented in the advertising? As an Ugly-Australian (who would like to visit London again one day) Iâ€™m made deeply ashamed of myself and my shortcomings every time unblemished beauty is thrust in my face.
What about all the representations of happy intergenerational family life? As a middle-aged childless divorcee who lives with a cat and has an appalling online dating track record, Iâ€™m saddened and depressed every time I have to look at yet another ad featuring a happy, smiling family enjoying their time together.
What about various luxury goods, such as nice sporty European cars or expensive watches or top-end attire? As a jobless (writing is not a job) middle-class slob, my confidence is constantly undermined by the advertised consumerist cornucopia of things that are beyond my financial reach. How realistic â€“ and healthy â€“ is of me to desire a new Mercedes-Benz E-Class vehicle?
I want answers, Mr Khan. And demand a swift action!