Quebec Launches Charter for Body Diversity

November 3, 2009


The seven models who participated in the fashion show to launch the Charter

On October 16th, 2009, I was delighted to join the Quebec Government and members of the fashion industry to launch The Quebec Charter for a Healthy and Diverse Body Image. Eight months before, I was hired by the Government as a special advisor to help develop and draft the document. We developed the Charter through consultations with professionals from fashion, health, education, Government as well as those with eating disorders. We also debated and discussed various drafts of Charter with a committee composed of members from these various sectors until we achieved consensus.

The Charter proposes a vision for a society that values body diversity and identifies seven principles for industry, media and regulators to follow in order to help make it reality. Through the seven principles, we are all challenged to act as agents of change to help free ourselves and each other from self-limiting beauty stereotypes. Aside from helping develop the Charter itself, my particular touch was launching the Charter with a fashion show featuring seven models of different sizes, ages, and cultural backgrounds to show the vision in practice. Over the next year, I will join the Government and other professions on a committee to help the spirit of the Charter take hold through the industry and other sectors.

Here is a copy of the Charter:

Québec Charter for a Healthy and Diverse Body Image

The body image presented in the public sphere and the media influences self-image, self-esteem, and, indirectly, public health. We recognize that beauty ideals based on extreme slimness can harm self-esteem, particularly in girls and women. We believe that eating habits and weight loss practices are influenced by biology, psychology, family, society, and culture. We encourage partners from all fields—governments, community organizations, and corporations—to work together to help diminish social pressure in the interest of a healthy and egalitarian society. We believe that with their vitality and creativity, the fashion, advertising, and media sectors can provide leadership and exert a positive influence over the public. We want to follow the international trend in the fashion industry towards awareness campaigns on problems related to excessive preoccupation with weight, anorexia, and bulimia. We are determined, at the instigation of the Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, to collectively contribute to drafting this charter and launching a common call to action to promote a healthy diversity of body images.

We, the undersigned, therefore pledge our support for a vision of a society in which body diversity is valued and, in consequence, undertake, as part of our respective missions, to

1. Promote a diversity of body images, including different heights, proportions, and ages

2. Encourage healthy eating and weight control habits

3. Discourage excessive behavior with respect to weight loss or appearance modification.

4. Refuse to subscribe to esthetic ideals based on extreme slimness

5. Remain vigilant and diligent in order to minimize the risks of anorexia, bulimia, and unhealthy concerns about weight

6. Act as agents of change in order to promote healthy and realistic practices and images regarding the body

7. Promote the Québec Charter for a Healthy and Diverse Body Image to our partners, clientele, and colleagues while actively adhering to and respecting these principles


One Response to “Quebec Launches Charter for Body Diversity”

  1. Kelly Duffie Says:

    Usually when i see a blog i read through it and move on, however this one was trully a wonderful 1, i thought i would take the time to give you thanx for such a delightful blog post.

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