The Photoshop Body Image Debate Gets Serious

The body image/Photoshop debate is heating up again. In France Valerie Boyer, 47 and a member of the French parliament, is proposing a law requiring that all digitally altered photographs of people used in advertising be labeled as retouched.

Today’s NYTimes Style section picks up the story in Point, Shoot, Retouch and Label?

In fact, the story broke last September, with a group of 50 politicians saying that the wording should read: ‘Retouched photograph aimed at changing a person’s physical appearance’. see Daily Mail UK

Personally, I’m surprised that the issue is gaining such serious traction in Europe. However, they are more thoughtful about the female psyche across the Atlantic and the women have significantly more positive body images than here in America.

Being slimmer isn’t the only reason. We have a 12 year gulf in the concept of when a woman reaches her peack beauty between America and France, Italy and even Brazil. American women believe we’re going downhill after 28. In these countries it’s 35-45 before a woman hits her summit.

Our own web traffic on the topic of female sexuality and body image refuses to slow down. It’s clear that Ralph Lauren’s Photoshop disaster may have opened Pandora’s box in a big way.

So ladies and gentlemen, do we truly want to wrestle with the topic with intelligence and wit? The questions are complex, more so in America than Scandinavia or even France.

I’m trying to lay out the issues in some kind of Yea and Nea format, giving us a holistic view of all the tenacles attached to this Photoshop, aspirational advertising octopus. Anne