One of the comments in response to the NYT
article, posted by a SharonS, gets to the heart of the matter:
I don't think that editing photos per se is the problem...The real problem is the current fashionable ideal of women's beauty, and the willingness of digital artists, publishers and the fashion industry to promote an absurd depiction of women. Tagging photos with editing labels might help, but what's really needed is the public shaming of the current trend of carving women up into skeletal proximities of human beings.
That does correctly identify the issue. Photoshopping is just a tool - a tool that's being used for harm. The real problem is the androgynous, emaciated standard that this tool is being used to propagate.
The only flaw in Sharon's argument is her implicit belief that "public shaming" would be enough to stop this. Not a chance. If we've all learned anything, it is that no amount of public opprobrium or even media hostility will ever make the fashion industry change. If anything, it makes them dig in their heels even more. That's the type of personalities that we're dealing with.
Remember, these are people who often live drug-addled and immortal lifestyles. Breaking the law, living lives that everyone scorns, that's what they do. Their whole culture is a promotion of toxic lifestyles. Why should it surprise anyone that they push this kind of unhealthiness as well?
No, Boyer is right. Only government legislation, strictly enforced, will ever finally put an end to this blight on society.