Backlash over Photoshop gathering pace
NEW YORK, May 5 — With everyone from top models to aspiring teenage activists joining the protest for unedited fashion photos, it looks as though a revolution in the beauty magazine industry could be on its way.
This week 14-year-old ballet dancer Julia Bluhm caused a media frenzy by delivering a petition to the New York offices of teen publication Seventeen urging it to reduce retouched photo spreads.
“I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me,” wrote Bluhm, whose petition on change.org received over 48,000 signatures in a matter of days.
Seventeen invited Bluhm to the offices to meet with editor-in-chief Ann Shoket, releasing the following statement afterwards:
“They had a great discussion, and we believe that Julia left understanding that Seventeen celebrates girls for being their authentic selves, and that’s how we present them. We feature real girls in our pages and there is no other magazine that highlights such a diversity of size, shape, skin tone and ethnicity,” said the publication.
The movement comes a week after high fashion model Coco Rocha took to her Tumblr blog to denounce the use of Photoshop on her picture gracing the cover of Elle Brazil’s May 2012 edition.
“For my recent Elle Brazil cover shoot I wore a body suit under a sheer dress which I now find was photoshopped out to give the impression of me showing much more skin than I was, or am comfortable with,” wrote Rocha.
“This was specifically against my expressed verbal and written direction to the entire team that they not do so. I’m extremely disappointed that my wishes and contract was ignored. I strongly believe every model has a right to set rules for how she is portrayed and for me these rules were clearly circumvented.”
Earlier this year Glamour magazine announced that it would ask its photographers to refrain from altering images even when the subject requested it.
The US edition of the global magazine published a survey of 1,000 American women that revealed 60 per cent think it’s okay to alter personal photos, although are sceptical of media outlets who do so — only 43 per cent thought this was acceptable.
“As your responses [made] clear, retouching has its limits — or should — and Glamour plans to take a stronger role in setting ours. You told us you don’t want little things like freckles and scars removed, and we agree; those are the kinds of details that make each woman on the planet unique and beautiful,” wrote Glamour’s editor-in-chief Cindi Leive on her blog.
Meanwhile, beauty brands are also cottoning on to the Photoshop backlash. Last year’s commercial for Make Up Forever’s High Definition Foundation claimed “You’re looking at the first unretouched make-up ad.”
The fight against Photoshop has been going on for some time, and just last year the US’s self-regulating watchdog National Advertising Division (NAD) moved to ban misleading photoshopped images in cosmetic ads, hoping to bring the US more in line with destinations such as the UK where there are stricter regulations.
In the past 12 months the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned commercials by brands including Maybelline and Lancôme, starring Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts respectively, deeming them to feature “excessive retouching.” — AFP-Relaxnews