Monday, September 21, 2009

Photoshopped images worthy of health warning?

The infamous Faith Hill Redbook cover controversy.

Some French lawmakers think so, while Liberal Democrats in the UK support banning retouched images "that create 'overly perfected and unrealistic images' of women in adverts targeted at children" as well as a health warning on such photos.

The warning on photos in France, as proposed, would read:

"Retouched photograph aimed at changing a person's physical appearance"

It's an interesting idea. Would it do women any good to put a health warning on such images here? Would it help young girls to not see so many "unrealistic" images? I think most people have some inkling of an idea that most images, especially in print, are retouched, but I don't know if people know to what extent it happens. Ultimately it would probably help all of society more to actually stop with the incessant Photoshopping of images of both women and men, but I don't think that cat's going back in the bag.

(By the way, doesn't it seem like some major publisher or ad firm would revolt, so to speak, against all this fakeness? Doesn't anyone besides Dove and maybe Playtex realize what a huge opportunity is staring them in the face? Given the loud support for a magazine recently (daring) to show a "plus-size" model's actual stomach, the time could be right for such a trend.)

What would the reaction be in this country if a group of women lawmakers proposed the idea of limiting these unhealthy images, or putting a warning label on them? I have a sneaking suspicion we would be bombarded with horribly Photoshopped images of those lawmakers, they would be told they could "use a little Photoshop" themselves, they would never hear the end of it, and a loud portion of this country would complain about lawmakers wasting time on such "stupid" legislation. I don't know how far the proposals will get in France and the UK, but I'm curious to see where this goes. (Anyone know of other countries thinking about doing something similar?)

And in case you've never seen what Photoshop can do to a body, check out these links and this video:


Razor said...

If we have to put a "WARNING: DO NOT ATTEMPT" disclaimer on an ad where someone skydives while juggling chainsaws, then I don't see why we shouldn't put "photoshopped image" on heavily doctored photos.

nik dietz said...

Why I spend my gym membership money on Photoshop!


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