Arizona state lawmaker: Shouldn’t advertisers have to put disclaimers on airbrushed photos or something?

posted at 7:20 pm on February 17, 2012 by Tina Korbe

It’s true: Adobe Photoshop is the best beauty product a gal can buy. No foundation, no concealer, no eye shadow, no mascara can make a face look as smooth and eyes look as smoldering as can Photoshop. It’s also a quick-fix fitness product. Didn’t have time to lose those five extra pounds before you posed in a swimsuit for a major magazine? Let Photoshop do the work of weight loss for you!

So, sure, advertisers are going to apply Adobe with as heavy a hand as a 13-year-old applies lip gloss. So what? So it’s sending a wrong message to teenagers, that’s what. Or so says Katie Hobbs, a Democratic state representative in Arizona, who has introduced legislation to more stringently regulate advertisers on this score. Her bill would require advertisers who alter or enhance a photo to put a disclaimer on that ad.

Rep. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, said she’s bringing attention to body image issues, especially with young girls, and that girls need to know that they don’t have to look perfect.

While she acknowledges the likelihood of the bill failing in a vote, Rep Hobbs said she’s satisfied with spotlighting the issue.

She told The Arizona Republic: ‘We just wanted to bring it to the table and start a discussion.

‘We need to bring attention to these body-image issues, especially with young girls.’

On this one, I’m with Andrea Tantaros, who today on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News show told substitute host Stuart Varney that she sees no need for additional regulation — but wouldn’t mind it if politicians had to offer disclaimers on their own promises. Why don’t they ever have to admit their “product” — a.k.a. more government involvement — won’t work the way they claim it will?

Regarding girls’ body-image issues, I have the same response I have to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program: I’m all for “spotlighting the issue,” as Katie Hobbs put it, but don’t support the government usurping the role of parents. It’s not for advertisers to offer a disclaimer; it’s for parents to raise their children with an understanding of what it means to be and look healthy. An easy way to ensure your kids aren’t troubled by the ways they don’t match the images they see on TV and in magazines: Monitor and limit their TV and magazine exposure. That might inspire them to “move” more anyway!


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I know that I hate how my Whopper with cheese never looks like they do in the commercials.

Flange on February 17, 2012 at 7:23 PM

I worked for L’Oreal for 28 years. They definitely airbrushed models including the big names.

I think it’s okay except in the case of skin care, there should be a truth in advertising law. But then, I believe model homes should show the price of the EXTRAS they decorate with too.

originalpechanga on February 17, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Another Democrat with nothing better to do!

KOOLAID2 on February 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Women with 12″ waists aren’t natural?

Pablo Honey on February 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

So 100% of the photos will now have expensive disclaimers that will be a waste of time and help no one. Almost every photo is altered, whether to the photographer’s preference in a real darkroom or now, digitally on a computer.

Big deal. Grow up.

HopeHeFails on February 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Arizona state lawmaker: Shouldn’t advertisers have to put disclaimers on airbrushed photos or something?

Hey Arizona lawmaker, don’t you have anything better to do?

JPeterman on February 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Even Audrey Hepburn looks better airbrushed.

Don’t mess with perfection.

TedInATL on February 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Will barbie dolls have to say, “Results not typical” too?

HopeHeFails on February 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I know that I hate how my Whopper with cheese never looks like they do in the commercials.

Flange on February 17, 2012 at 7:23 PM

They all look the same coming out? (:>)

KOOLAID2 on February 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I know that I hate how my Whopper with cheese never looks like they do in the commercials.

Flange on February 17, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Mine is always all skewed to the side, but their new fries are MUCH better than any they’ve ever had.

SouthernGent on February 17, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Oh for the love of God, can’t Dems go one day without finding something they “need” to regulate?

clippermiami on February 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

While she acknowledges the likelihood of the bill failing in a vote, Rep Hobbs said she’s satisfied with spotlighting the issue.

Because that’s really the point of elected office, isn’t it? Highlighting every pet issue and concern these preening potentates have?

DrMagnolias on February 17, 2012 at 7:32 PM

So, sure, advertisers are going to apply Adobe with as heavy a hand as a 13-year-old applies lip gloss. So what? So it’s sending a wrong message to teenagers, that’s what.

That’s actually a great point. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to point out to, well, everybody that photos of celebrities have often been retouched.

Something like a standard caption: “Caution: the picture used here has potentially been improved by careful airbrushing. No resemblance between the picture here and the actual celebrity is implied or warranted.”

Or so says Katie Hobbs, a Democratic state representative in Arizona, who has introduced legislation to more stringently regulate advertisers on this score. Her bill would require advertisers who alter or enhance a photo to put a disclaimer on that ad.

I guess no good point can’t be ruined by an overzealous legislator.

There’s no need for a law. Just start a class action lawsuit for ugly women everywhere against magazines and advertisements, and the lawyers will start requiring significant legal disclaimers within a month.

After all, isn’t that the American Way?

tom on February 17, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I used to work at the company that printed Playboy. I think they perfected the art of “airbrushing”.

JimboHoffa on February 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Arizona state lawmaker: Shouldn’t advertisers have to put disclaimers on airbrushed photos or something?

“Some Settlement May Occur”

Electrongod on February 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I think what they are objecting to is the use of photoshopped photos to sell skin care products that make false and/or exaggerated claims. I think they are right to ban the ads.

Blake on February 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

For goodness sakes, they’re effing ads. Your average 6 year old has already learned by that age that nothing ever is as it seems in ads. So this nanny stater wants disclaimers on photo-enhanced ads, to protect the children, of course.

It boggles the mind the literally infinite ways that libs can come up with to control every minute aspect of life. They must daydream and then stay up all night long wondering how their beloved government can “improve” the plight of the human condition, which is only a plight in their twisted minds. Good grief!

TXUS on February 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I’m referring to what they are doing in the UK where they have nixed the ad campaigns of some major products using some well known actresses.

Blake on February 17, 2012 at 7:38 PM

I took this one today:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kameeraphoto/6893957049/in/photostream/

It’s a photo thread so why not?

:P

blatantblue on February 17, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Who thinks Katy Hobbs airbrushes her own photo? Is she introducing a bill to ban deception by means of using massively outdated photos? Or is that okay with the photo police?

kunegetikos on February 17, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Airbrushing is an anachronism in todays PhotoShop.

Cloning, smoothing, spotting with various brushes and such is how it’s done now.

Twana on February 17, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Twana on February 17, 2012 at 7:41 PM

“Airbrush” is a figure of speech that stands in for all of the terms that you listed and all of the related terms you didn’t have room to list.

kunegetikos on February 17, 2012 at 7:43 PM

As a long time resident of Arizona I am so pleased to see that our State legislature has solved the BIG issues like education, state budget, border security and the State Employee’s pension fund!

Now they can turn to the lesser issues like this. I wonder if they will enact a law allowing the manufacture and sale of 100 watt light bulbs within the State?

microfiction on February 17, 2012 at 7:43 PM

I took this one today:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kameeraphoto/6893957049/in/photostream/

It’s a photo thread so why not?

:P

blatantblue on February 17, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Great work, bb. My God, who’s the hottie? Wanna share?

TXUS on February 17, 2012 at 7:49 PM

blatantblue on February 17, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Awesome, you have a good eye.

JimboHoffa on February 17, 2012 at 7:49 PM

well… the problem with a law on airbrushed photos is that it would be hard to enforce. how much does it have to be edited to be breaking the law?

that said, i hate the fact that so many advertisement photos are airbrushed way too much. it’s so creepy when they make everything extra shiny and smooth, to an unnatural level. it’s disgusting when photoshop trims and shapes bodies to make them unnaturally thin and “perfect.”

Sachiko on February 17, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Big deal; the press has been airbrushing President Obama’s record for three years now.

radjah shelduck on February 17, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Thanks TXUS and JimboHoffa.

Sorry TXUS she’s taken, and not by me!

blatantblue on February 17, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Even Audrey Hepburn looks better airbrushed.

Don’t mess with perfection.

TedInATL on February 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Mega dittos on that. She was mighty fine.

BierManVA on February 17, 2012 at 8:05 PM

blatantblue on February 17, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Very nice. You do beautiful work. I’ve looked at your site before.

Fallon on February 17, 2012 at 8:14 PM

I think we have to make a distinction here. I’m deadset opposed to altering an image, certainly to introduce an artificial sense of perfection, but that’s not what was done to the photo of Audrey Hepburn on the main page. That image was damaged from age, and has been restored for contrast and imperfections on the film. Not the same thing, at least from my perspective.

hungrymongo on February 17, 2012 at 8:26 PM

While my instincts are always against government involvement, I’m not sure I totally disagree with the bill. I don’t agree with the intent (“something something body issues”) but I do agree with the outcome, which sounds like a truth in advertising law.

If the proposed law was targeting toward “Electric Car Manufacturers” having to actually post the average miles before their batteries give out, I imagine there’d be all kinds of support here.

Isn’t allowing a blatantly false advertisement ruinous for the free market, which relies upon both buyer and seller disclosing true information to decide the transaction?

I mean – this wouldn’t (or shouldn’t I haven’t read the law closely) count for swimsuit models, or beer ads, or those stupid Vogue ads or whatever – but specifically for beauty products. If you’re selling a “skin cream” and posting a photoshopped model without any indication that the picture was retouched, isn’t that false advertising at a minimum?

apollyonbob on February 17, 2012 at 8:27 PM

apollyonbob on February 17, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Yep. And they are really enforcing the laws against it in the UK.

http://goo.gl/peuKx

Blake on February 17, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I think we have to make a distinction here. I’m deadset opposed to altering an image, certainly to introduce an artificial sense of perfection, but that’s not what was done to the photo of Audrey Hepburn on the main page. That image was damaged from age, and has been restored for contrast and imperfections on the film. Not the same thing, at least from my perspective.
hungrymongo on February 17, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I’m a big AH fan, but I believe you are not correct about the pic being restored due to age.
New ‘wrinkle’ in Audrey legend

whatcat on February 17, 2012 at 9:10 PM

whatcat on February 17, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Hurrell’s photos were all retouched–they were beautiful, striking people, but none of us reaches perfection.

DrMagnolias on February 17, 2012 at 9:27 PM

whatcat on February 17, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Thanks for the link. That’s certainly disappointing. Thought it was a damaged contact print in question… I remain a fan of restoration, not alteration…

hungrymongo on February 17, 2012 at 9:31 PM

I guessed it was a Democrat female who suggested this – they are so busy looking for ways to “protect” children and women and all the rest of the feminist mind control that they waste time and money to advance their control agenda.

I lived through the “feminist” era – it was bogus from the beginning. Get of your backside, learn something of value, then just go for it. Stop waiting for some control-minded legislator to “take care of you” – take care of yourself.

Geez!

MN J on February 17, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Thanks for the link. That’s certainly disappointing. Thought it was a damaged contact print in question… I remain a fan of restoration, not alteration…
hungrymongo on February 17, 2012 at 9:31 PM

I expect most studio-released photos have always had some work done on them.

whatcat on February 17, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Hmmmmm. . . Do I trust the politicians to decide what has been airbrushed to a point that an ad is false? After I have watched ads and read their ‘franked’ literature which contains falsehood after falsehood? I don’t trust the liar class to police truth in anything, especially advertising. I’ll trust that if people feel a company has gone overboard then they can punish that company by not buying the product. ‘Let the buyer beware’ is what my parents taught me.

Dawnsblood on February 17, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Yep. And they are really enforcing the laws against it in the UK.

http://goo.gl/peuKx

Blake on February 17, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I liked the punchline at your link:

After all, if the make-up does the job in the first place it shouldn’t need Photoshopping in post-production.

Kinda makes me think about some laws on the books that keep needing waivers.

AesopFan on February 17, 2012 at 10:43 PM

OMG, I used red eye reduction!
Attack Watch!1!!!1!11
I’m a baaaad boy.

OTTO on February 17, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Hey Arizona lawmaker, don’t you have anything better to do?

JPeterman on February 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Well the democrats don’t they are, thankfully a small number, a small in the AZ legislature. Unfortunately we are stuck with a lot of fake religious weirdos(is there any other kind?) in the legislature and those kinds of retards muck up the works something fierce.

Your Mamma loves me on February 17, 2012 at 11:17 PM

So – this is high up on the list of priorities yet protecting Arizona’s borders is near the bottom of the list?

TimBuk3 on February 18, 2012 at 7:52 AM

This law is just a retaliation against Obama-No more messiah-like pictures with phoney Photoshopped haloes.

Don L on February 18, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Another perspective: I do the print advertising and prepare the web photos for a well-known musical accessory manufacturer. Our ads feature musicians (mostly male) who endorse our products. These are not beauty products and the photos are not intended to be glamour shots. However, we are grateful to the musicians who allow us to use their images in our advertising, etc., and we want them to look as good as possible. We also want to be respectful. All the photos we use are Photoshopped.

As with anything, taste informs how the retouch is done and to what degree. We use the healing brush if someone has an obvious zit. We also frequently even out skin tone. However, we use a light touch and we’re not attempting to dupe anyone. The subjects still look mostly as they do in “real” life. The simply look a little more pulled together.

Next some idiot will be introducing legislation to ban photographers from using beauty lighting and gels.

jix on February 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Shouldn’t advertisers have to put disclaimers on airbrushed photos or something?

Right after we get disclaimers on the cartoons so kids won’t think Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or Power Rangers are real!!

Apparently, some legislators have way too much time on their hands.

landlines on February 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

in the late 20′s, early 30′s my grandmother worked at a photography studio hand coloring and also “fixing” photographic negatives- removing and altering less than attractive physical imperfections. people were buying photographs, a product- they had every expectation that the photographer would do everything possible to make them look good. no one was going to buy a photo of themselves in which they didn’t look their best.

mechanical manipulation of images after they have been exposed has been going on since the advent of photography- actually that pretty much describes photography itself. should painters and sculptors also refrain form distorting or idealizing the human figure for fear that someone’s little troubled snowflake will experience insecurity and the sads? should women in any form of advertisement or entertainment who have had body work such as breast implants or face lifts also be labelled? warning: this old actor has… hair plugs!

perhaps the government should stick to raiding lunch pails to achieve utopia, make everyone at last equal with acceptable body fat percentages… not. hollywood and the fashion industry exist to present illusions and delusions, white washing and photoshopping their significant stars into abstractions, mere commodities- a metaphor really for messianic political frauds like barry hussein. i can’t see any of that large scale lucrative mythologizing ending anytime to soon-it’s very effective for manipulating people. false idols the whole lot- they can’t be legislated away because it is what people want- it’s definitely what sells. everyone likes looking at pretty impossibly perfect people leading magical impossibly rich and perfect lives. we worship celebrity.i have a problem with that too but at least i know tyranny won’t cure any social problems it seems to aid and abet or perhaps just reflect back at us.

the business of government is government- not raising other people’s children or telling them what to eat, drink, or how they should want their bodies to look. politicians are not elected to be cultural anthropologists or psychologists or bishops. perhaps government wouldn’t be as dysfunctional if it stuck to focusing on the operation of the rule of law and the upholding of the constitution instead of overuse of the cropping function in photoshop.

mittens on February 18, 2012 at 3:17 PM

PS -

A law like this in my state would effectively remove the Obituary section from the local paper.

landlines on February 18, 2012 at 3:23 PM

mittens on February 18, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Well said.

landlines on February 18, 2012 at 3:23 PM

My land, that was funny.

DrMagnolias on February 18, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Several years ago, I read a nutritional book by Carol Alt. (She is an advocate of raw foods and has appeared on something like 700 magazine covers. One from 2008 is at http://www.carolalt.com/multimedia/covers/) In her book she commented that EVERY model she knew, including herself , had been air-brushed at some point in their career. Democrats need to stop trying to play god.

And hey!

blatantblue on February 17, 2012 at 7:39 PM

, how did light the lonely looking young lady? Great photo. Can we get some details? Location, lighting, camera, etc?

oldleprechaun on February 18, 2012 at 4:57 PM

So, sure, advertisers are going to apply Adobe with as heavy a hand as a 13-year-old applies lip gloss.

This statement, and parts of the rest of the post, display gross ignorance of how advertising works.

First of all, the reason that Whoppers look so much better in ads than in real life is that for the ads they were prepared by professional food stylists and shot under the right lighting by professional photographers who specialize in product closeup (known as “tabletop”) work under studio conditions – not by a burger-flipper in a fast-food location. Retouching has virtually nothing to do with it.

Second, long before Photoshop, advertisers used air-brushing. This was a technique for, in effect, repainting photos to remove extra hairs, blemishes, shadows, etc. That’s what Photoshop does electronically today.

My advertising agency does ads for religious day schools, and sometimes the client requests lengthening a sleeve or raising a neckline on a woman’s photo. That’s not misleading; it’s just honestly reflecting the school’s philosophy. Which brings us to the third point.

If, as the post claims, Photoshop (not Adobe; that’s the brand for many graphic applications) were applied “with as heavy a hand as a 13-year-old applies lip gloss,” consumers will be see at a glance that the resulting image is phony. Heavy Photoshopping is done only to create a very realistic image of something that doesn’t exist, to visually communicate a sales point that has nothing to do with the product’s physical features.

See http://www.flickr.com/photos/bright_orange_ads/3338202433/ or http://www.flickr.com/photos/bright_orange_ads/3338174579/in/photostream/ for examples.

bgoldman on February 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM