Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:10 am on 16th October 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Suzanne Webb Suzanne Webb Conservative, Stourbridge 11:10 am, 16th October 2020

I rise to support the Bill, and I thank my hon. Friend Laura Trott for bringing this important issue to our attention. There have been so many fantastic and important contributions so far.

My support for the Bill is principally due to my concern that young adults perceive these treatments as beauty treatments as opposed to medical procedures that carry risks and side effects, and the fact that damage to their self-esteem has probably brought them to that point. The issue behind this is mental health. What brings someone to the point where they feel that they need an injection in their face to paralyse what is beautiful about them, which is their natural appearance?

I am a huge advocate of body positivity, and my hon. Friend’s Bill contributes to that. My hon. Friend Dr Evans probably does not know that if I had a private Member’s Bill that I wanted to introduce, it would be his. I have spoken about it on other occasions. All of this is so important to me, and it goes back to what I was saying: where does the situation start that a young adult feels the need to change their appearance?

Many young adults have body image problems and aspire to a face or a body that they cannot hope to live up to because it was faked on a computer or at the mercy of a needle. They see images of a role model whose face has been frozen in time by paralysing the muscles in their brow or around their eyes to make them look good—less tired, less old and less real. I would love to see a shift in society where there is not the same pressure on us all to be picture perfect.

Listening to hon. Members, I am truly grateful for the time and era in which I grew up. There was no social media or internet. At times there was not even any electricity, because it was the winter of discontent, but we will not go down that route. We did not have reality TV shows. We did not have “Love Island”. We in fact had black-and-white televisions—there are some in this room who will remember that time well.