Updated: Feb 21, 2019
An article caught my attention this week and gave me an opportunity think a little about my work and the pressures that can face those looking to get fit.
The article in question, as reported by the BBC, described how recently elected London mayor Sadiq Khan plans to ban negative body image adverting on the Underground, on London buses and trams, and on TfL rail.
The mayor has also stated that he wants to ban all adverts on the London transport system that promote an "unhealthy or unrealistic" body image more generally.
The advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), received 378 complaints in 2015 about a weight-loss advert that appeared on London Underground, and which asked customers if they were "beach body ready".
You may well remember the advert in question (above).
Graeme Craig, TfL Commercial Development Director, has also argued that "our customers cannot simply switch off or turn a page if an advertisement offends or upsets them and we have a duty to ensure the copy we carry reflects that unique environment."
On the other hand, in criticising the move on Facebook, Sharen Kirchler, asked the question, "What happened to free speech? What happened to not being offended by everything?"
As for myself, from my relatively privileged position as a Personal Trainer, it seems obvious that people are increasingly concerned about the way they appear, and they are also confused about what is a healthy and an attractive body image.
Free speech is indeed important.