About 50 politicians in France are backing a proposed law to label retouched images as such to help fight eating disorders and body-image issues among young women. Kind of like how cigarettes come with a health warning. Advertising, press photographs, political campaigns, art photography, and images on packaging would all be affected if the law is passed. However, people in the glossy perfect-image business aren’t having it.
“The camera has always lied and always will,” commented Tony Chambers, editor in chief of Wallpaper and a former art director of British GQ. “These things should always be taken with a pinch of salt. Fantasy and artistic interpretation are core ingredients in fashion, advertising and art photography.”
So, just to be clear: Shaving fifteen pounds off a girl’s hips and thighs is “artistic interpretation.” Marc Ascoli, art director of campaigns for Yohji Yamamoto, Jil Sander, and Chloé, among others, thinks the law borders on “comical,” according to WWD.
“It’s so arbitrary,” he said. “It’s clear that there have been abuses. Sometimes heads are completely transformed. They’ll change the model’s eye color and hair. Sometimes I have the impression I’m looking at a window dummy. But there is such a global commercial pressure for perfection.”
It seems the aim of the law is to partly erase some of that pressure. But also, while these people work in the image business and know all the manipulation that goes into these images, many average girls don’t. That said, even if models are retouched, they’re not getting any fatter anyway.