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Fab Flash: British Fashion Council Takes Closer Look at Airbrushing

In the wake of the British Fashion Council's Model Health Inquiry, which resulted in models under 16 being banned from the London catwalks, the airbrushed pages of magazines are now coming into question.

The British Fashion Council (BFC) wrote to the UK's Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) in December to suggest "a voluntary code covering the use of digital manipulation [in photography]." A BFC spokeswoman said that rather than limiting magazine's use of airbrushing, they would like to see a warning that the image had been altered instead. The PPA yesterday agreed to discuss the matter with British magazine editors.

Do you think it would be productive to have a surgeon general-type warning on airbrushed images? I'd be interested to see what unairbrushed images actually look like. Would you?


Join The Conversation
gaelgirl gaelgirl 9 years
i'd really like it if they just stopped "improving" people. airbrushing out nipples & acne is fine, but i think they should stop removing normal stomachs, making boobs insane, making legs and necks longer, & anything else that makes even the model not pretty enough. -ps coming from the keyboard of someone who has modeled. it's not fun hearing you aren't something enough to be pretty.
Kaciegrrl Kaciegrrl 9 years
Here's my only beef with this just as a graphic designer & photographer. I spent a lot of time learning Photoshop and other design/image editing software in order to enhance pictures. It actually takes a fair amount of skill to retouch a photo and keep it from looking retouched. So it is frustrating to me in that respect; mastering those skills takes a lot of time and they do help produce beautiful ads and imagery. On the other side, I don't have an issue with it because I do think it would help people to see a disclaimer about retouched photos. Impressionable young girls need to be made aware that what they are seeing in a magazine is in fact not reality, but the result of having a skilled photo editor. This might help them from trying to attain impossible ideals regarding weight and beauty. But if it's voluntary, I doubt you will see much compliance - what magazine is going to piss off a celeb by saying they had to be digitally enhanced?
maple maple 9 years
while i think this has good intentions, it's ultimately just not practical. i've done work as a professional image editor for years, and i can tell you that EVERY PHOTOGRAPH that you see in any professional magazine, brochure, catalog, etc etc, is edited in some way or another. this means photos of landscapes, cars, beer bottles, nail polish, interior design shots, hamburgers... all of it. in most cases, the images are merely edited to make them look more true-to-life, or to present them as beautiful images, and i truly believe there is little wrong with that. HOWEVER, there are absolutely certain parameters that could be set up which would make necessary such a label if you alter CERTAIN THINGS in a photograph... such as the shape of a person's body. i think something along those lines would work and would be justified. i don't agree with much of what is done within this industry in regards to things dealing with how "beauty" is defined, but practicality is always an issue.
berrymix berrymix 9 years
wow this is good.
smoochiez smoochiez 9 years
great idea! i love it!!!!!
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 9 years
I have an even better answer - Instead of adding a warning how about not airbrushing pictures at all!!! I mean let's face it we are all human with imperfections - we should embrace them!
sophiebella sophiebella 9 years
ranksubjugation ranksubjugation 9 years
Yeah, little girls should all learn to use a little photoshop, too, so they know HOW MUCH it actually changes the look of a model. Also, like another commenter said, girls might decide against plastic surgery and lipo if they realize that they can get similar results with the computer.
Rouge14 Rouge14 9 years
Studying Graphic Design, I got to learn a lot about photoshop and retouching photographs, and I must say, since I realised how much everything is retouched in magazines, I can actually spot what details have been retouched or not when I'm reading one now, and it really has changed the way I think about the pictures we see in them. I can totally understand where they're going with this idea and I think it would be a great step forward to get girls to have a more realistic vision of beauty. Maybe they'll think twice before thinking I want surgery on my nose, I want to change this and that, when they'll actually see on the page that it's been retouched, now they might think "oh in the end I look alright".
Zari Zari 9 years
this is just amazing!Do it then pleasee
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
Great fricken Idea, every magazine should do this. I would love to see how models and celebs really look! This is great.
redhed1156 redhed1156 9 years
They just shouldn't airbrush images at all. Even if you know they are airbrushed it still alters your perception of how you feel you should look.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Wow! That would be awesome! The whole banning too thin models and air brushing it such a good step towards combating all of these unrealistic aesthetic expectations. If someone doesnt start it, then it could just get worse.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I think this is great though I would prefer for it to not be done period. Fine if they need to fix up something that looks odd, but don't change the way the person looks completely, goodness!
Sophie827 Sophie827 9 years
I think it's a really good idea. Most people know most pictues have already been airbrushed but it's still depressing seeing those flawless photos and that little quick reminder it's not real would be helpful
plasticapple plasticapple 9 years
I LOVE seeing celebs looking average! It helps me remember that they are regular people. It's easy to forget that sometimes.
idawson idawson 9 years
cant do too much harm; minor airbrushing is no biggie - our HS pics were slightly airbrushed to remove minor discolorations/blemishes. but the death by photoshop is a little too much.
idawson idawson 9 years
cant do too much harm; minor airbrushing is no biggie - our HS pics were slightly airbrushed to remove discolorations/blemishes. but the death by photoshop is a little too much.
CK621 CK621 9 years
everyone should be required to do this!
wolfpackgal wolfpackgal 9 years
i think this is a great idea! it reminds everyone reading these magazines that celebrities and models arent' perfect. people try dangerously hard to look like the girls on magazines. and yes.. i would like to see an untouched image. :)
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 9 years
I think even if you do know teenagers have a gut reaction to these images and I think a reminder everytime they see one would be a helpful reality check.
heartlatte heartlatte 9 years
Here is a link to a place where you can see pre-airbrushed images.
RoyalBlueMoss RoyalBlueMoss 9 years
If they are going to airbrush... they should have to place a label on it. It would be nice to see it.
gauzemodeofeve gauzemodeofeve 9 years
I don't see how a warning would be very effective. I don't believe in the sleek, plastic retouching but rather the real retouching where you can still see the pores is good. I think it would be better for people to have less retouching in general. I'm a freelance retoucher and seeing what I've seen (Ie- famous models with cellulite that could eat my face or celebrities who look pretty darn average) I feel pretty good about myself. haha.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I'd like less air brushing, but not for the typical reason someone might have. I hate when someone's picture is photoshopped so much that they barely look like themselves. I've seen before pictures of people that I think look better than the after. I don't like when people airbrush little things like a little redness in the cheek or photoshop someone's teeth when it doesn't need it. Some people actually like their little "imperfections" and I don't mind them at all, I think they make a person more interesting to look at and less boring and plastic.
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