According to the National Eating Disorders Association, around 30 million Americans suffer from eating disorders at some point in their lifetime. From where does this issue stem? The problem comes from unrealistic body standards created by photographers and techs that use image-editing software on photographs that are shown in the media and advertisements. In some countries, these edited images must come with a notice that they have been digitally modified in some way. These unrealistic body images are what the youth look up to and tries to mimic, so why advertise incorrectly? As someone who studies photography in hopes to one-day work in the fashion photo industry, I believe that it is so important to properly advertise and not show false or unobtainable body images. When a commercial or editorial image has been modified in any way it is false advertising and should be labeled to not only warn the customer, but to also help the industry progress in using unedited images.
Edited images of unrealistic body types are what fake body standards stem from. Some edited images do not display the legitimacy of a product, so models should be treated, to an extent, the same way. Some companies and originations are catching on to the trend and have not been accepting any retouched images. Getty Images, for example, will no longer accept any content that depicts models looking either smaller or larger. France has also recently released new rules that say all altered images must come with a disclaimer. These edited images, which have made a model either thinner or thicker, will come with a notice of “photographie reouchée”. France’s former health minister, Marisol Touraine, made a statement saying, “It is necessary to act on body image in society to avoid the promotion of inaccessible beauty ideals and prevent anorexia among young people”. If we started off small, with just labeling edited images, maybe post-production and body manipulations will become a thing of the past. From that, the youth will stop trying to obtain these unrealistic body types, which will result in less mental and physical diseases.
To slow down and in hopes eventually end the wide trend of eating disorders in this day in age, we can stop manipulating the youth into thinking that edited super model bodies are normal to look up to. Children and young adults reflect on the body images that they see on ads, TV, Instagram and other types of social media. Especially as a child or teen, pop culture is a huge part of every day life. The youth dress how the stars are dressing, trying all the latest trends and of course doing their very best to look like an edited picture of a Victoria’s Secret super model. These crazy and unrealistic beauty standards are “harming women by promoting a standard of beauty so false that it can be achieved solely by manipulating a photograph of an already slender model”. (Cohen 2009) These retouched images have an effect on men, too. False...