A Warning Label for Retouched Photos

by MomGrind


Photo retouching in magazines is becoming more and more outrageous. Remember the GQ cover featuring Kate Winslet? The actress was shocked and angry to discover that the magazine used photoshop to make her legs appear longer and leaner than they are in reality.

The problem is that extremely thin, airbrushed photos of models in magazines can cause serious body image issues and even trigger eating disorders, especially in tweens and teens.

As part of a campaign against eating disorders, French lawmakers are now considering a law that would force women’s magazines and other publications to disclose whenever a photo has been airbrushed.

The disclosure would state, “Photograph retouched to modify the physical appearance of a person.”

I generally like the idea, but I wonder about enforcing it – I assume they won’t be able to enforce it in foreign magazines, so French women and girls would still have access to magazines that do not disclose the fact that they retouch photos. Plus, how will they know for sure if a photo has been retouched?

An amusing thought – since as far as I can tell all magazine photos are airbrushed to some extent (even the Lizzie Miller Glamour photo seems somewhat retouched to get rid of cellulite or otherwise make the skin look smooth), it will be interesting to see each and every magazine photo having a little caption under it with the disclosure. Or maybe they’ll get away with a general disclosure, which won’t be very helpful anyway.

What do you think about this initiative? Important? Ridiculous? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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