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Warning! Magazines Photoshop their pictures!!

skinslidersFrench politicians are teaming up with eating disorder experts to putting together a bill that would require magazine spread, ads and packaging designs to have warnings for airbrushed photos. While not as graphic and in your face as cigarette warnings, the penalties are hefty enough; $16,000 or 50% of the ad campaign cost. Certainly nothing to take idly. The warning could be as something as simple as “Retouched photograph aimed at changing a person’s physical appearance.”

Their goal is to combat anorexia and obesity by showcasing that not everybody looks as good as they do when airbrushed by the pros. That seems pretty obvious to me. Give me a few hours with a re-toucher to get rid of my; baggy eyes, chop off the love handles, slim up my chin, nose, head and body, and a magician for the rest, and I can be on the cover of GQ or Esquire. No problem.

And so the debate begins. Will this warning help? Cigarette warnings are harsh and abrasive, but there are still a lot of smokers… Will it help with anorexia, or will it help the magazines sleep because they are now legally covered and will be harder to sue? Is adding the warning to photos going too far? Will it have impact? Am I getting too old and senile that I forget the difficulties of being young and wanting to be like the movie stars??

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