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British Parliament Proposes a Ban on Photoshop

It should go without saying that the desire to look your best in a photograph is innate, but to what extent does a little retouching here and softening there constitute as too much? That's just what members of the British Parliament are asking, particularly after a heavily retouched image of Twiggy, the face of Olay Definity, surfaced. Interestingly, the majority of you said you do or would Photoshop yourself to look better. However, when it comes to widely distributed ads, the question of what's real and what's not becomes fuzzy.

Find out more about the debate.

The latest proposal asks for a ban on Photoshopping for advertisements targeted at those under the age of 16. It also calls for retouching/electronic altering disclosure on ads targeted at adults. Parliament member Jo Swinson said, "The focus on women's appearance has got out of hand. No one really has perfect skin, perfect hair, and a perfect figure, but women and young girls increasingly feel that nothing less than thin and perfect will do." We've seen large corporations getting slapped on the hands for deceptive advertisements in the past. But retouching has long been part of the advertising industry, and it's not as though kids under age 16 wouldn't be exposed to unrealistic images if the ban were put into place. Disclosure might be a more helpful reminder that nobody looks as perfect as ads promise, and I can't help but think that putting resources into pro-girl programs such as About Face would be a better way to help girls and women learn how to "read" such advertisements. Do you think a ban on Photoshopping will ever actually come to fruition?

Source: Olay and Getty

Join The Conversation
Lori-Gragg Lori-Gragg 8 years
This is why young girls have such a complex,they see photoshopped pictures and think the model is so perfect,the industry creates an illusion,I have an 8 & 15 yr. old daughters and I see how it affects them. I like the Dove ads they feature all shapes and sizes and show the real beauty in women,more like the real woman,and less like HOLLYWOOD.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
I like the disclosure idea. Print on the ad (in a legible sized font) that photoshopping occured on the appearance of the model. I don't think it's going to hurt the fashion industry because people will spend on products that they think will improve their looks no matter what disclosure is on there. Diet pills have to exclaim that "results not typical" when they show someone who lost 40 pounds drinking why can't the beauty industry have to have some type of disclaimer or disclosure.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
I don't see why these ad so heavily use photoshop - it is so obvious. Not exactly a stellar recommendation for your product... And what is wrong with her anyway that she would need to be so heavily photoshopped? She is gorgeous as she is - in fact, she looks BETTER without all that photoshopping!
mek123 mek123 8 years
I don't think a ban is practical but it would be nice. A disclosure on ads would be a step in the right direction.
bonniebonnie bonniebonnie 8 years
I would love to see a magazine that hasn't had any Photoshop done in any spread or advert! I would buy that!!
hellojello hellojello 8 years
If Photoshop is banned then Kate Moss may not be able to model anymore...
glasses glasses 8 years
The gap is too big really, I have to admit that Photoshop is indeed very powerful. . .
shayela shayela 8 years
it should be used in the name of photography, like for special effects -- not altering the image of the model, especially to help sell a product relating to looks. it's deception, plain and simple. that said...she looks way better in the second picture imo.
dinghy dinghy 8 years
I don't see how an actual ban could be implemented: how do you define what is acceptable and what is too much ? esp. if you also take into account the make-up, lens, lighting...Disclosure would be nice though, and education.
poptart-princess poptart-princess 8 years
no. it shouldn't be banned, it just shouldn't be taken to such an extreme.
Rigor-Mortis Rigor-Mortis 8 years
I agree with the 3 first posts. It is f**** disgusting to see so much photoshop going on to sell cosmetics in general. Advertisers might as well use CG images next, because most of the models nowadays look like something out of a damn videogame.
Alithyra Alithyra 8 years
It would be nice if there was a ban. Pro-girl programs are all well and good but the advertising shouldn't be there in the first place. Will a Photoshop ban fix it all? No, of course not. What it will be is a good step in the right direction. There's a fine line between selling a product and making every person in every ad perfect.
pinkpeonygirl pinkpeonygirl 8 years
The less photo shopping in the media the better obviously.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Don't think it will be banned, but I do feel its deceptive if the model for wrinkle cream has ever her skin smoothed or the girl in the acne ad has her skin retouched.
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