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A French law requiring that all manipulated images of models be labeled as such was first announced in May, but just officially went into effect on Sunday. According to the new rules, any images that feature models whose bodies have been digitally altered to look slimmer or thicker must now be labeled with the words "photographie retouchée," or "retouched photograph," reports NPR. Failure to comply with the law could lead to fines that amount to more than $44,000.
The law represents one of a few moves the French government has made of late to address the unhealthy body standards that the fashion and advertising industries may indirectly promote. To the same end, models working in France now have to present medical documentation establishing that they have a healthy body mass index and are 16 years or older.
"It is necessary to act on body image in society to avoid the promotion of inaccessible beauty ideals and prevent anorexia among young people," France's former health minister Marisol Touraine told French media outlet Le Parisien. Considering that France has the lowest average BMI of any European country, it's not an abstract concern for the nation.
But it's not just France looking to identify digitally enhanced imagery more clearly — USA-based stock photo agency Getty Images is in on it, too. As of Sunday, the agency will not accept content that features "models whose body shapes have been retouched to make them look thinner or larger," according to NPR.
"Our perceptions of what is possible are often shaped by what we see," Getty representative Anne Flanagan said. "Positive imagery can have direct impact on fighting stereotypes, creating tolerance, and empowering communities to feel represented in society."
Update, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 8:46 a.m.: Getty shared the following statement with Fashionista: "As a leader in visual communications, Getty Images upholds the responsibility to ensure accurate and authentic visual representation... That's why over the last several years, Getty Images has made a concerted effort to change the way women and other marginalized communities are represented in media and advertising."