The UK just banned sexist ads. It could change the way an entire generation of girls learns to see themselves.

Commercials that use gender stereotypes likely to cause harm are now banned in the United Kingdom.

Are you beach body ready? That’s a question that you can ask yourself, but advertisements in the U.K. cannot – even if they really want you to buy their diet product.

The U.K. passed a ban on sexism in advertisements last December, and as of Friday, the ban has finally gone into place. The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority now officially forbids ads that depict gender in ways "that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offense."

Advertisements influence people, and that influence goes beyond whether or not we purchase longer-lasting lip gloss or weight loss shakes. "Our evidence shows how harmful gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to inequality in society, with costs for all of us," Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the Advertising Standards Authority, said. "Put simply, we found that some portrayals in ads can, over time, play a part in limiting people's potential. It's in the interests of women and men, our economy and society that advertisers steer clear of these outdated portrayals.” This is a far cry from the “be the best possible you” messages ads like to feed us.

A 2016 report from Lloyds Banking Group examined the way women are portrayed in ads, and found that only one-third of the people shown in ads were women. Additionally, they were less likely to hold a position of power in the ads. If they were shown being in charge, the “role was often linked to seduction, beauty or motherhood.” Hopefully, we’ll start to see more women in ads that aren’t for makeup and clothes.

Some of the things that are now out of ads are:

“An ad that depicts a man with his feet up and family members creating a mess around a home while a woman is solely responsible for cleaning up the mess.”

“An ad that depicts a man or a woman failing to achieve a task specifically because of their gender e.g. a man’s inability to change nappies; a woman’s inability to park a car.”

“An ad aimed at new mums which suggests that looking attractive or keeping a home pristine is a priority over other factors such as their emotional wellbeing.”

“An ad that belittles a man for carrying out stereotypically ‘female’ roles or tasks.”

The ban impacts broadcast, online, and print advertisements. The Advertising Standards Authority will determine if an ad breaks the new rule or not on a case-by-case basis.

More and more countries are rolling out laws that prevent gender discrimination in advertisements. In Norway, sexism in advertising has been forbidden since 1978. And in 2004, Spain rolled out a law banning degrading images of women’s bodies. Belgium, France, Finland, Greece, South Africa, and India all also have restrictions when it comes to sexism in ads. Bravo!

Changing the way we present women in advertisements can help change the way we look at women in real life, and we’re here for it. The real way hair dryers and washing machines can revolutionize a woman’s life is by not talking down to her.


When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

Now, just imagine how much better those numbers would be if the country wasn't mired in an economy-killing trade war with China, bleeding out trillion-dollar-a-year debts, and didn't suffer from chaotic leadership in the Oval Office?

At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

Keep Reading Show less

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

Keep Reading Show less