Feeling fat? Let’s regulate airbrushing, say UK advocacy groups
posted at 4:32 pm on August 4, 2010 by Diane Suffern
I’m going out on a limb here: Were I to be in a magazine photo shoot in anything other than a burqa, well, anything…I’m going to demand some airbrushing. I’d be perfectly fine looking like an idealized digital self on the remote chance I’d have to bare skin for something. Granted, it irks me slightly that already thin models are whittled down to even skinnier proportions. But, I simply consider that part of the beauty industry. Much of it is fake, right down to the false eyelashes I’m considering for the company Christmas formal this year. Plus, I know I’m not actually forced to contemplate Gisele’s physique in Cosmo, am I?
But, what if I weren’t okay with the manipulated images of models and starlets we all ogle from time to time? What if my self-esteem were so fragile that I wanted to end all false “advertisement” on those glossy covers to relieve my body-angst? Maybe we could create a Body Image Czar to monitor female self-worth and regulate airbrushing!
Ridiculous, right? Not going to happen…except it might. In the UK.
Long known as the vanguard of the Nanny State Movement, the current Equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, said last month that she wanted to see an end to airbrushing, or at least the addition of a disclaimer indicating that an image has been doctored. No worries though, advertisers. It’s not a mandate, just friendly advice, reports the BBC:
She said she had “no desire to impose regulation or restriction on advertisers or others” and hoped they’d make changes to their practices on a voluntary basis.
Why does that fail to convince me, Lynne? Might it be because so many “good intentions” somehow end up in the law books these days?
Considering this cause has been gathering steam from fem-advocacy groups and scout organizations like Girlguiding UK, is it feasible such legislation could be on the horizon? Well, yes:
Ms Burnley said: “We know how profoundly they feel the pressure to conform to a particular body image and how badly they can be affected by these unobtainable ideals.
“We are proud to support the calls of our members who believe that it is time that the prime minister addressed their concerns and acted in the interests of girls and young women across the country.”
Some 20,000 Guides currently taking part in an annual camp in West Yorkshire are being encouraged to sign a petition calling for David Cameron to introduce a law forcing magazines to inform readers when photographs have been airbrushed.
Because really, Cameron doesn’t have other pressing issues to deal with besides the hurt feelings of girls who probably could stand to have their own mothers address their body issues instead of relying on the government to nurture them. It’s exhausting having to constantly remind people what the role of government is and…isn’t. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there a time when the Brits were known for their good sense?
Ah well, that’s across the pond. It isn’t as if things that happen in Europe ever inform our own politicians and policies. This kind of government intrusion into our personal lives would never happen here.