SPITTING IMAGE?: European efforts to ban airbrushing in fashion photography are gaining momentum. The U.K.’s Committee of Advertising Practice has received a report compiled by more than 40 academics that demands a ban on ads featuring digitally altered models targeting girls under 16 years old.
The report, signed by academics from countries including the U.K., the U.S., Australia and Brazil, comes just six weeks after a group of French politicians proposed a law that could require all retouched photos to be labeled as such.
The U.K. report shows a correlation between unhealthy behavior in adolescents who are exposed to images of skinny, airbrushed models. The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) is responsible for updating and revising the British code of advertising.
“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.
A spokeswoman for the CAP said she was unable to comment specifically on the report. She said, however, “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.”
— Louise Bartlett