As France weighs passing a law requiring retouched photos to be labeled as such, the Brits are mulling new regulations of their own. The U.K.'s Committee of Advertising Practice, which is responsible for the country's code of advertising, just received a report authored by more than 40 academics recommending a ban on Photoshopped ads targeted at girls younger than 16. Experts say they've found a correlation between unhealthy behavior in youngsters exposed to digitally perfected models. WWD reports:
“The weight of the evidence shows that thin, ‘perfected’ media images have a detrimental effect on how girls and women think and feel about their own bodies,” said Dr. Helga Dittmar of the University of Sussex, one of the authors of the report.
Oh, how shocking! Who would have guessed? Though it's probably not just the Photoshopping that leads to unhealthy behavior, but the models themselves, who look skinny and perfect enough to make girls feel unattractive without retouching. A CAP spokeswoman said, "If a specific digitally altered advert creates a misleading or harmful impression, we can take action. However, we are bound by European law, and it would be very difficult to change the law as it stands."
Momentum seems to be gathering in this country, too, for action against retouching. Over the weekend, protesters gathered outside the Ralph Lauren store to demonstrate against the use of unrealistically Photoshopped images of women in advertising. The National Organization for Women's New York chapter organized the protest and said they could envision a legislative solution. NOW's Sonia Ossorio spoke to Jezebel:
"We'd like retailers to realize that their customer base is women," Ossorio told me. "It's like, who do they think they are? Making women feel less sexy and less beautiful than we are. Why do they think they have the right to do that? And it's so unfortunate. Look at how it impacts the entire world, and how we feel about ourselves."
Regulations on Photoshop would hardly solve the problems with the fashion industry's representation of women. Though it's a start, a woman with hips that measure 41 inches is still considered "plus-size" and has to pose next to a size-zero chick to prove she looks good in designers clothes as well.