Regulating Retouching?

Kate Winslet is known for lashing out against magazines that Photoshop her body, and now another British beauty's retouchings have people feeling unco
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Kate Winslet is known for lashing out against magazines that Photoshop her body, and now another British beauty's retouchings have people feeling unco

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Kate Winslet is known for lashing out against magazines that Photoshop her body, and now another British beauty's retouchings have people feeling uncomfortable. The images of Twiggy's smooth face in recent Olay Definity (an anti-aging cream) advertisements have moved members of the Parliament to call for action, which we learned about thanks to our friends over at Jezebel. The Liberal Democrats in Parliament want to ban Photoshopping completely on advertisements aimed at children (those under sixteen), and place disclaimers stating how much Photoshopping was used on all other ads. The politicians who suggested these changes are hoping that this could boost young adults'—specifically girls'—self-esteem, or more accurately, lessen the negative comparison a young girl could make between her body and the perfectly sleek and slim body of a model in a magazine.

In a recent LA Times article on the subject, Professor Montana Miller cut right to the point: if advertisers make us feel bad about our bodies, we are more likely to buy their product that will allegedly make our bodies or faces look better. Advertising is about making money, not making us feel better. We can get behind disclaimers, but bans seem to infringe somewhat on the company's rights. Should it be the government's job to protect us from feeling bad about ourselves? Another suggestion the British politicians made is to implement "media literarcy" lessons that would teach kids about the behind-the-scenes hijinks of the magazine world. If people were educated and aware of the visual tricks, they would be less likely to buy an anti-aging cream for which the spokeswomen had her wrinkles removed by something other than the product for sale. Money talks: if sales were driven lower, then maybe a company would reconsider their imaging techniques, instead of simply having it forced on them. --AMANDA JEAN BOYLE