London Mayor Announces Ban On “Body Shaming” Advertisements With Skinny Models

220px-Sadiq_Khan170px-Fitness_Model_Britt_2007London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, has signaled early in his term that he will continue the state regulation of speech and images that have ravaged free speech in England. He announced an end to the appearance of what he calls “body shaming” advertisements in London’s public transport, advertisements featuring skinny bodies viewed as unrealistic for most women. While some publications have suggested the that move reflects Khan’s Muslim background (he is the first Muslim mayor of London), in my view it reflects a long and disturbing trend in Europe (and particularly England) to regulate and criminalize speech. What some people may view as unrealistic or even demeaning for women, others view as artistic expression in advertising. While this may be the only way I could end up a Benetton model, I have long opposed such rules, which puts the government in the position of policing images to determine what is not demeaning for women.


Khan said that he will no longer tolerate images that make women feel bad about their bodies: “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.” Of course, one possible response is to sit down with your daughters and discuss the issue rather than force other people to show images that you feel are more acceptable. I prefer to leave the choice of images to these companies and their customers than a politician dictating what is acceptable to his sensibilities.

Khan notably does not say how he will carry out the ban or how he will define the standard. Will this be a body fat ratio or some Potter Stewart “I know it when I see it” standard.

Like Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Big Gulp” regulation, the tendency of some politicians is to see their role as dictating better habits or images. At least the Big Gulp standard (which I opposed) had some objective science based standard based on sugar content. Khan’s ban is based on the highly subjective view of what is sufficiently attainable as a body to be acceptable for advertisements.

What do you think?

36 thoughts on “London Mayor Announces Ban On “Body Shaming” Advertisements With Skinny Models

  1. I feel body-shamed by pictures of zaftig women (primarily because I am zaftig and have struggled for years to lose weight). I would like the Mayor to ban photos of all zaftig people. Next will come bans on short people, tall people, black people, white people, ad nauseum–until the day comes when London is following Islamic aniconism. Did someone say “camel’s nose”?

  2. Fahrenheit 451. Perhaps we will achieve a world where all news anchors have a stutter, all ballerinas are overweight and clumsy, intelligent people get an implant that disrupts their thought patterns with annoying noises every few minutes, and no singer can hold a note. Just so no one ever gets their feelings hurt or feels inferior.

    We have the most robust free speech, and freedoms in general, than anywhere else in the world, including Canada and Europe.

    May we hold onto that freedom.

  3. isaac:

    “It’s easy to label it Islamic extremism or any particular extremism at all.” Well, of course it’s easy. He claimed he did it for ISIS and ISIS took credit. Since he’s dead, he cannot undergo a mental health examination. I do not know if he was diagnosed with mental illness before. In order to plead insanity, however, the bar is actually quite high. His father had a talk show in which he supported the Taliban and condemned America. So perhaps he was unstable and his parents shaped how that instability acted out. It will come out in the investigation.

    Come to think of it, his parents went through the legal immigration process, and supported the Taliban. The San Bernadino shooter’s wife went through the legal process, and she was all over social media with extremist anti-West views. The Tsarnaev brothers emigrated here and their mom and they expressed extremist views. I’m not feeling very confident about our ability to properly vet people at this point. It’s my understanding that they ask you if you plan to commit violence, or some such ridiculous question, and that’s about it. They don’t have the manpower to comb through every friend you ever made, every post on social media, and every contact you have. Not really making me feel secure in our process.

  4. Karen

    It’s not Islam that makes someone crazy. Islam simply gives the crazy a vehicle that reinforces his need to ‘do something about it’. So do most religions. So do a lot of ethnicities. So does national identity. Three million Vietnamese died due to collective madness, ignorance, national expressions of various sorts. Iraq was invaded and hundreds of thousands died due to other sorts of madness. This recent retard made his point. The fact that he had to make a point like that at all has less to do with Islam and more to do with missing or convoluted brain cells. His father has a similar condition, wearing military fatigues and preaching politics to Afghanistan via you tube. Both father and son have an unhealthy need to ‘do something about it’.

    If history illustrates anything it is that there is a force that sweeps humans up either individually or collectively to do horrific things. It provides the rational that one is right and others are wrong. It gives a ‘raison d’être’ for those that need one but cannot achieve one on their own. There are ample examples on this blog. One is right because one is American and only in America do real freedoms exist. One is wrong because one is Canadian and Canada’s Prime Minister is, well you should be able to understand. Averaged out, just how free is America. There is no real democracy. Candidates are chosen by oligarchs and you only get two choices. Now is that freedom? In reality Americans are among the most deluded people of all democracies. They rest on the laurels of past generations. They substitute the military greatness of the country for individual elements that are neglected. There are lots of things American to be proud of but how many are achieved by Americans today? By 2050 35% of America’s energy will be provided by wind power but the corporations that are making that happen are Vestas-Dutch, Seimens-German, Enga-Chinese, etc. There are some serious basic flaws in America today and the reason is the mindless patriotism.

    The only solution is for Islam to distance itself from its extremes. Christianity did by getting together and changing, for the better for the most part. The mindlessness of the Islamic faith, the same mindlessness that exists in most religions, is the contribution through saying nothing. However, this nut job was a nut job first and a Muslim second. McVeigh was a nut job first and an anti government conspiracy theorist second.

    There are a lot of Muslims and anti government conspiracy theorists out there. They don’t all flip out and kill people, except when guys like Bush come along and they all jump on the nationality vehicle train…..

  5. Mayor is just following Sharia – not English – law, to protect his fellow Muslims from ‘temptation’:

    “2442. It is haraam for man to look at the body or hair of the Non-Mahram women, regardless of whether it is with the intention of pleasure or not, and whether there is a fear of falling into sinful act or not. It is also haraam to look at the faces and the arms, up to the wrists, of such women with the intention of pleasure, or if there is fear of falling into sinful act, and the recommended precaution is that one should not look at their faces or arms even without such an intention.”
    http://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2351, accessed 06142016.

  6. People still talk about Cajun Joe –Bully of the Bijou: He’d fight anything, a beast or man, in Bijou water or on dry land. He won a battle at his victory. He became the Bully of the Bijou. Every body knew he was the Bully of Bijou. Any man’s pride, he could whoop him, with one hand tied. He was a fightin son-of-gun. All the pretty girls thought he could whoop the world. People still talk about big Mom-Moo. Cajun Joe picked on a little one, at his regret. Cajun Joe swung a mighty blow. He aimed for the head, but he swung to low.

  7. We need to speak about the law set forth in the Korematsu decision back in WWII when the Supreme Court said it was fine to lock up U.S. citizens who were of Japanese descent in concentration camps out in California. Trump should come out with a plan to lock up Muslims and tell us where. I suggest camps in California, Texas and New York. I would go after any Muslim with a gun permit or where we have knowledge that they bought a gun. Round up the Imams. Close the Mosques. There is too much BS on the media about Trump U. The latest Orlando event can give us reason to go forward with the roundup.
    Head em up. Round em up.
    Rollin rollin rollin
    Keep those doggies rollin
    Rawhide!

  8. Here is a summary of Korematsu from wikepedia:

    Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944),[1] was a landmark United States Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, which ordered Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II regardless of citizenship.

    In a 6–3 decision, the Court sided with the government,[2] ruling that the exclusion order was constitutional. Six of eight Roosevelt appointees sided with Roosevelt. The lone Republican appointee, Owen Roberts, dissented. The opinion, written by Supreme Court justice Hugo Black, held that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Fred Korematsu’s individual rights, and the rights of Americans of Japanese descent. (The Court limited its decision to the validity of the exclusion orders, adding, “The provisions of other orders requiring persons of Japanese ancestry to report to assembly centers and providing for the detention of such persons in assembly and relocation centers were separate, and their validity is not in issue in this proceeding.”) During the case, Solicitor General Charles Fahy is alleged to have suppressed evidence by keeping from the Court a report from the Office of Naval Intelligence indicating that there was no evidence that Japanese Americans were acting as spies or sending signals to enemy submarines.[3]

    The decision in Korematsu v. United States has been controversial.[2] Korematsu’s conviction for evading internment was overturned on November 10, 1983, after Korematsu challenged the earlier decision by filing for a writ of coram nobis. In a ruling by Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted the writ (that is, it voided Korematsu’s original conviction) because in Korematsu’s original case, the government had knowingly submitted false information to the Supreme Court that had a material effect on the Supreme Court’s decision.

    The Korematsu decision has not been explicitly overturned although in 2011, the Department of Justice filed an official notice[4] conceding that the then Solicitor General’s defense of the internment policy to be in error. However, the Court’s opinion remains significant both for being the first instance of the Supreme Court applying the strict scrutiny standard to racial discrimination by the government and for being one of only a handful of cases in which the Court held that the government met that standard.

  9. Middle Eastern men love fat women, so it is no surprise that this idiot seeks to impose the Mid-East view of beauty.. The idea is that if a woman is fat, it shows her husband is wealthy enough to keep her at home and provide lots of food for her and that she does not have to do a bit of work.

  10. This is a storm in a teacup – and typical of the backward – nay stone – age – culture Khan represents.

    Do they still sing: ‘There’ll always be an England. . .’? I hope not, for England is no more.

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