Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:57 am on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Laura Farris Laura Farris Conservative, Newbury 10:57 am, 16th October 2020

I am just going to make a little bit of progress, but I will give way when I finish my next point.

The third reason why I support the Bill concerns young people’s mental health. There will not be a Member sitting in the House today who is not aware of the explosion in young people’s mental health problems. One piece of research I looked at was by the Mental Health Foundation, which took place 18 months ago. It found that one in four teenage girls aged 16 to 19 suffered from a mental health disorder sufficiently serious that they had either self-harmed in some way or made an attempt on their life. That is 25% of 16-to-19-year-old women. Within that particular cohort there was an overwhelming incidence of those young women also spending quite extended periods of time on social media. What were they doing? They were looking at images of other young women, contrasting themselves and drawing out what they perceived to be their own inadequacies.

I support the Bill and I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks again, not just because of the physical protections it puts in place for children under 18, but also for criminalising the conduct of dodgy therapists. Most fundamentally, I support the Bill for what we as a society say to teenage girls about their worth and their wellbeing.