Should Magazines Use a Disclaimer When They Photoshop Images?
Photoshopping images has been a hot topic for some time now and while body positivity is on the public radar more than ever, there are still magazines that are photoshopping images to the point where they’re showing bodies that are simply unattainable.
There are even celebrities and high profile bloggers who alter their images on Instagram! This obsession of looking picture perfect gives off the wrong message regarding beauty, especially for young people.
One blogger, who is fed up with this practice, is taking a stand and calling on magazines to tell the public when model images have been altered.
UK-based body positive activist and blogger/writer Fran Hayden has launched a petition on Change.org to issue a call to action to magazines and the media to “save our self-esteem” by making the public aware of photoshopped images being used:
“More could be done to disclose that images in magazines and elsewhere in the media are not representative of real people, if photoshop has been used then people need to be aware of that – if not, then a collapse of self-confidence is imminent. If an image has been photoshopped to within an inch of its life, then there should be a disclaimer somewhere on the image to reinforce the fact that it has been altered, rather than reinforcing the beauty ideals that society has set out for us.”
“So accustomed are we to being presented with faux images of beauty in the media, that often we forget to challenge the things that we might not necessarily agree with. We choose to feign ignorance instead of opposing the rules prescribed to us by society, but why do we do this? The root of the problem stems from the misconceptions about beauty that are fed to us on a daily basis by the media – we are so blindsided by representations of what makes a body acceptable or desirable, what kind of skin type you need to be recognised and what kind of hair you need in order to be noticed.”
Now the question is, are we truly ready to see unaltered images in the media?
Many will say a resounding YES but when you look to social media when unaltered images are posted, not all comments are positive. We’ve seen negative comments where these images were bashed and criticized. And let’s not forget the images posted by plus size women and bloggers that get criticized and insulted on a daily basis.
Thus, these magazines and the media who use Photoshop will say in their defense, that the masses want to see photoshopped images because they want to see that “fantasy” image, which can be aspirational to viewers.
There are retailers and magazines (as seen above) that will use non-photoshopped images. But Fran’s petition and her call to action really shows that the altering of images is still occurring and could be detrimental to the self-esteem of those girls and women viewing those images.