Is photoshop a health hazard?
For so many years the fashion industry, and especially the image of models, was based on perfection, skin, which has no wrinkles and a body which never showed signs of stretch marks or cellulite. But what was the message conveyed? Was the industry advocating for a healthy body, or simply selling a dream?
The end of 2017 marked a new beginning for France in the way retouched photos were perceived. After numerous campaigns of famous brands such as Dove, Seventeen magazine, American Eagle Outfitters’ lingerie line “Aerie”, ModCloth and Darling Magazine protested against photographs being retouched, the wake up call is real.
Brands in France now face up to $44,000 of fines if they do not inform their audience that the photograph has been retouched.
But what changed? The reason is that young people are subjected to believing that the pictures they see in magazines are the definition of the perfect body. That alone has lead to 600,000 young people who suffer from eating disorders in France only (Nydailynews, 2017). An even more shocking fact is that statistics show such illnesses come right after car accidents as a cause of death among young people between the age of 15-23 years old.
In 2015 non- retouched photos of Beyonce and Cindy Crawford circled the internet.
Such photos of course sparked various discussions filled with both positive and negative comments, which was to be expected after almost three decades of fashion magazines creating unattainable images of beauty.
The many years of research based on eating disorders and the beauty norm set by the fashion industry among young girls, has led to countries like France, Israel, Italy and Spain to finally take serious measures. As of recent laws, models working in those countries are obliged to have a certificate signed by a doctor, which proves that their BMI is no less than 18.5 and they are healthy.
Choosing what we wear is choosing the way people perceive us at first sight. Fashion is about self-expression and it is time that it is also about self- love.
Each human is unique: instead of all trying to fit the same standard, we should celebrate our differences.
As Confucious said “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”
Love your body and embrace your flaws.