It looks like it's going to be a debate over subscribed with speakers and there's at least 3 amendments and a separate vote!
Here are links to the policy paper itself and conference extra which has the amendment 2 to I speaking against.
I'm definitely in favour of the motion, and hoping to speak against Amendment 2 in particular - so here is my speech, just in case I don't get to give it!
I am delighted to support this innovative and practical policy paper, because it re affirms our commitment to freedom, choice and true liberal values.
But Amendment Two would undermine that commitment.
If we pass this amendment, we’ll be saying :
‘We see there’s a problem with media images, body image and eating disorders but we don’t want to do anything about it, except to cross our fingers and hope that the problem will go away all by itself’.
What sort of policy is that?
Let’s be clear: images of women are manipulated in advertising in order to make more sales and revenue for large corporations.
Where that harms people, liberals must take positive action.
Time and time again over the past decade, research has shown that from as early as age 5 young girls feel under pressure to be slim and have a perfect body.
The publication ‘Under ten and Under Pressure’ , put out by the Girl Guides Association – that bastion of radical feminism! - found that ‘Girls Between Seven and Ten Believe being Slim and Pretty Makes you Clever, Happy and Popular’
In research by Field et al in 1999, nearly 2 in 3 of 500 girls aged between 9 and 17 agreed with the statement “pictures of women in magazines influence what you think is the perfect shape”
And 1 in 2 of the girls agreed that “Pictures of women in magazines make you want to lose weight.
The policy paper addresses this harm in a thoroughly liberal way, by providing consumers with information on how much images have been digitally manipulated; so that people can know how real or fake they are.
We’ve supported this kind of consumer empowerment before.
To help mitigate the harm of climate change we have laws requiring manufacturers to provide us with information about how energy efficient their fridges are.
Yes, the issues are complicated but now there is a simple set of categories.
So we are all empowered to make an informed choice about energy efficiency.
Yes, the process of airbrushing may also be complex.
Yet, it is entirely possible to come up with some useful guidelines.
Commonsense would ensure that what was being regulated was the manipulation of body images, not the benign change of lighting or removal of shadows.
And, just as the labelling of fridges has changed the behaviour of fridge manufacturers, so the labelling of digitally manipulated images will change the behaviour of advertisers.
What we’re talking about here is cultural change ; changing behaviours.
One reason digital manipulation works is that we don’t always know when it's been done.
If we make sure that advertisers are open and honest about it, what company will want to admit that the only way it can sell it’s products is by using fake pictures?
But if you don’t require advertisers to provide the information in the first place, you don’t get the cultural change we need.
They will have no incentive to change.
As advertising drives the profitability of magazines, newspapers and television, where they go, editorial will follow.
We didn’t cross our fingers and hope for cultural change when it came to energy efficiency of fridges, why should we do it about the well-being and self-esteem of young women and girls?
Conference, this is a liberal approach to achieving cultural change!
Yes, if a five year old is reading Cosmo then she will see digitally manipulated photos.
but if her parents choose to protect her, they will know where the safe places are.
So, Cosmo Girl, aimed directly at the teen market should help young women feel good about themselves; they shouldn’t decide they’re fat at the age of 12!
Conference, let’s make a real difference to young girls and women’s lives:
Support the motion and reject amendment two.