I am writing to comment/complain about advertising on the tube, specifically the advertising for plastic surgery.
I actually like the majority of posters on the tube. I like to be told about upcoming plays, I’m happy to be reminded about useful services such as insurance and welcome being told about charities and what I can to do help make the world a bit better. I resent strongly being told that my body is inadequate and would benefit from plastic surgery.
I find the recent adverts that have appeared all along the Northern Line (and very possibly other lines too) hugely offensive, offensive to me personally, offensive to women and offensive to people in general. I do not wish to be told on my way to and from work that I would be happier and more confident if I subjected myself to painful and potentially dangerous surgery, that my life would be vastly improved if only my breasts were the acceptable size. I find this message infinitely more offensive than the 15th century work of art used to advertise the Royal Academy that was banned from the underground last year.
I appreciate that this email will probably have very little impact on your policies for advertising but as I walked past the poster for the umpteenth time today and found myself getting angry again, I felt I had to do something, however small, to try and persuade people to stop making money by telling people they are unacceptable and cannot value themselves as people unless they spend vast amounts of money and attempt to conform to an unrealistic and unattainable idea of ‘beauty’.
As expected the response was a typically mealy-mouthed "sorry you felt offended but we aren't going to do anything about it".
I was really pleased to see that leading plastic surgeons and feminist organisation have got together to call for the regulation of plastic surgery advertising in the same way as prescription drugs ads are regulated. You can find out more and sign the petition here.