Appearance Matters conference

Appearance Matters conference

By Charlotte Fantelli

On 3rd – 4th July 2012, Bristol will play host to the 5th Appearance Matters international Conference.

The conference will bring together leading experts from all around the globe, to address important issues surrounding body image and body satisfaction.

‘Body image dissatisfaction in the UK has never been higher, particularly among young people.’ MP Jo Swinson remarks when commenting on the recent All Party Parliamentary Group report on body image. During the conference, the University of the West of England’s Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) will address some of the public health concerns identified in the report,.

Around 200 delegates from 14 countries are expected to attend the Appearance Matters 5 conference, and organisers hope that it will be the perfect arena to discuss the issues the report highlights, regarding the unprecedented levels of body image concerns amongst the British public.

Among the discussion topics will be:

  • body image,
  • the media,
  • cosmetic surgery,
  • visible difference,
  • weight
  • ethics,
  • education,
  • and provision of care.

Professor Sarah Grogan from Staffordshire University will be one of the event’s keynote speakers, she will be discussing ‘Body Image and Health: Links and Future Direction’.  The other Keynote speaker, Professor John Lawrence, City University of New York will be speaking on ‘Psychosocial Adaption to Burns: Current Knowledge and Future Directions’.

“There is an epidemic of appearance related concerns among young people and adults in the UK and Western countries around the world” Says Dr Diana Harcourt, Co-Director of CAR.

“By bringing together experts from Europe, North America and Australasia we are enabling them to share their expertise on this topic and encouraging them to collaborate on new and innovative ways of helping people who are affected by these issues.” She continues.

Burns survivor and founder of Changing Faces, James Partridge, says, “Professor Lawrence’s insights will be very important in shaping understanding and burn care service delivery in Britain and around the world.”

Changing Faces, who will also be exhibiting at the event, are supporting the conference. The event will also feature performances by Bristol-based theatre group Unique Voices and Body Gossip.   

For more information and to register please go to or e-mail [email protected]

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