Youth Select Committee to question the experts on ‘Body Image’

05 July 2017

Bloggers, social media companies and academics are among those giving evidence to the Youth Select Committee on 7 and 14 July. The Committee is conducting an inquiry into Body Image and the impact it has on the wellbeing of children and young people.

This topical issue was chosen by the Youth Select Committee, after almost one million young people voted it as one of the top ten issues in the UK Youth Parliament’s  ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot in 2016.

Parliament’s annual Youth Select Committee gives young people the opportunity to scrutinise and hold inquiries into topics of importance to them. Following its call for written evidence on the topic of Body Image, the 2017 Youth Select Committee will be hearing from a range of witnesses on 7 and 14 July inside Committee Rooms at the Houses of Parliament, which are usually used by MPs.

The two evidence sessions are open to the public and will be made available on BBC Parliament. Just like UK Parliament Select Committees, the Youth Select Committee will produce a report based on its findings, which will be sent to the Government for comment.

The eleven committee members are aged 13-18 and include Members of the Youth Parliament, Youth Councillors, a Youth Mayor and representatives from each of the devolved nations. 

Thomas Copeland, 18, Chair of the Youth Select Committee said: "This year the Youth Select Committee will be examining Body Image. Body Image has become an issue of considerable concern for young people, so it is crucial that they are given a voice on this important subject. We are really looking forward to hearing what young people and professionals highlight as the key areas of potential policy improvement throughout the inquiry."


DAY 1: Friday 7 July – Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

10.30am, Panel 1: Academics

  • Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, Centre for Appearance Research
  • Professor Jessica Ringrose, Institute for Education, UCL
  • Professor Peter Fonagy, Professor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Developmental Science, UCL, Chief Executive Officer, Anna Freud Centre and NHS England Clinical Advisor

11.30am, Panel 2: Civil Society groups

  • Shirley Cramer CBE, CEO Royal Society for Public Health
  • Liam Preston, Senior Parliamentary and Policy Officer, YMCA / Be Real Campaign
  • Elena Veris Reynolds, Advocate, Girlguiding
  • Kate Dale, Strategic Lead, Brand And Digital, Sport England

1.30pm, Panel 3: Social media users

  • Harnaam Kaur - (Instagram)
  • Danny Bowman- (Twitter)
  • Stephanie Yeboah – (“Nerd About Town” blog)
  • Bethany Rutter – (“Arched Eyebrow” blog)
  • Chidera Eggerue – (“The Slumflower” blog)

2.30pm, Panel 4: Social media companies

  • Karim Palant, Public Policy Manager UK - Facebook / Instagram


DAY 2: Friday 14 July – Grimond Room, Portcullis House

10.30am Panel 1: Mental health and education professionals

  • Liz Ritchie, Body Image therapist and psychotherapist
  • Rosamund McNeil, Head of Education and Equality Policy, National Union of Teachers
  • Natasha Devon MBE, Founder, Self-Esteem Team

11.30am, Panel 2: Young people

  • Cameron Wood, Project Leader, Young Person's Network, Herefordshire
  • Susie Williams, NHS Youth Forum
  • Kirstie Stage, Member of the UK Youth Parliament for West Wiltshire

1.30pm, Panel 3: Government officials

  • Emily Antcliffe, Deputy Director for Mental Health, Department of Health
  • Tara Kaufmann, Head of Women's Engagement and Gender Representation in the Government Equalities Office

The evidence sessions will be open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Entry is via Portcullis House and it is advisable to allow 30 minutes to pass through security checks. 

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