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Beach Body Ads Banned After Body Shaming Outrage

‘Nobody should feel pressurised … into unrealistic expectations surrounding their bodies.’

Riders on London public transportation will have a little more left to the imagination after a newly approved ban on certain types of “body shaming” ads takes effect.

Mashable reports the ban was put into place after a billboard last year sparked a public outcry, and more than 70,000 signatures, demanding that the city no longer carry advertisements that pressure people to conform to “unhealthy or unrealistic” body images. That billboard featured an apparently heavily edited figure of a woman in a bikini with the words, “Are You Beach Body Ready?” scrolled across the advertisement for Protein World a protein shake, weight loss product.

“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. It is high time it came to an end,” newly elected Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement. “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.”

London Mayor Sadiq Kahn (Wikicommons)

The head of Transport for London (TfL) agreed with the decision, noting that advertisements placed inside of public transportation were unlike those displayed across TV, the Internet or even print publications, where “Our customers cannot simply switch off or turn a page if an advertisement offends or upsets them.”

Mayor Khan has also called for an oversight committee to be formed to help ensure that that future TfL advertising reflects, “the full diversity of London.”

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