French Fashion Photographer Argues Against Proposed Retouching Regulations

Marilyn Monroe, by Richard Avedon.

The French legislature is still debating a proposed law that would require retouched photos to be labeled as such. Fashion photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino, who has also directed music videos for Madonna and Björk, among other artists, says the law would be silly because retouching can also "glorify" women. Indeed, many photographers often use Photoshop to fill in boniness. Mondino wrote recently in French newspaper Libération’s Next magazine:

“The photos of old Hollywood? Retouched! The iconic image of Che Guevara? Retouched! All the photos taken by Richard Avedon of Marilyn Monroe? Retouched! And all of this before today’s software existed, of course. Legs were lengthened using a wide angle; skins were smoothed through overexposure.”

Maybe what the world needs more of, then, are not new laws to protect supposedly fragile women from eating disorders, but better photographers.