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Old 20th February 2012   #1
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Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Airbrushing warnings in Arizona

In a rare example of a positive effort by government, the Arizona state legislature is considering a bill that would mandate advertisers to identify when images have been Photoshopped, airbrushed, or otherwise distorted.

All I can say is, it's about time:

House Bill 2793, proposed by Rep. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, would require advertisers who alter or enhance a photo to put a disclaimer on that ad alerting customers that "Post-production techniques were made to alter the appearance in this advertisement. When using this product, similar results may not be achieved."

Sounds good so far? Now here's the bad news:

The bill has little to no chance of success. But Hobbs said that's okay.

"We just wanted to bring it to the table and start a discussion," she said. "We need to bring attention to these body-image issues, especially with young girls. Girls need to know that they don't have to look 'perfect'."

That's simply pathetic. The time for "discussion" is over. People keep having "discussions" and nothing gets done. These "discussions" are useless, and worse than useless, as they create the illusion that something is happening, but nothing is.

If this bill were to pass, that, at least, would be a beginning. It's not nearly enough, though. The bill should be banning underweight models altogether and mandating the use of fuller-figured models, size 14 and higher. Or at least altogether banning size-related airbrushing. Simply creating a law requiring that airbrushing be identified would be the tiniest of victories, the most basic nod to common sense. That such a law is still deemed impossible to pass is a devastating condemnation of the democratic system.

Also, I can't believe that anyone is still duped enough to call airbrushed bodies "perfect." There's nothing "perfect" about them. They look gaunt, emaciated, and synthetic. They are actively unattractive. Step one would be for people to dispense with the idiotic notion that there's anything "perfect" about size-0 frames. Quite the opposite. Perfect is a figure like that of Katherine Roll, or Shannon Marie, or Mayara Russi. Perfect is size 18+.

Still, at least it's a movement that has traction:

Arizona appears to be the first state in the nation to consider such a bill. There are ongoing efforts to get Congress to take up the matter. Several other countries also regulate or are considering regulating such advertising.

Traction, and support:

Hobbs said YWCA Maricopa County brought the idea to her.

Sam Richard, who serves on the YWCA Maricopa County board of directors, said the bill is modeled after laws in the United Kingdom.

"As an organization, we are all about empowering women and eliminating discrimination," Richard said. "We want to make sure that young women get a better start and better self-image."

Seth Matlins, co-founder of Los Angeles-based online women's magazine Off Our Chests, supports Hobbs' effort, calling it "extraordinary."

He said manipulated photo ads create unobtainable beauty ideals.

"People are left feeling worse about themselves because they don't look like something that actually nobody looks like," he said. "We're trying to help the makers of culture understand the relationship between what they do and how people feel."


The truly infuriating aspect of the article is not the fact that the Arizona legislature won't pass the bill, though. It's the insufferable excuses peddled by the advertising industry to justify their corrupt practices and why they should be allowed to keep warping girls' minds:

But Louie Moses, creative director of the Phoenix-based Moses Anshell advertising agency, said the advertising industry should be allowed to police itself.

"I don't like legislation that tells us what to do and what not to do in marketing," Moses said. "I know what's right."

Pardon me while I retch. They know what's right? This industry that promotes anorexia, glamourizes drug use, and sends starving (sometimes fatally starving) models down the runway, excludes full-figured women, and shames natural plus-size bodies, they know what's right? That's like saying that a drug dealer knows what's right and should therefore be allowed to keep peddling his wares.

Rather, the media should be prosecuted for the damage they inflict on society. They neither know nor care what's right. They simply seek to generate as much self-loathing among women as possible to maximize their profiteering.

This part is especially rich. I'm amazed anyone could say it with a straight face:

Moses also said people often blame advertising agencies for too many of the evils of society.

"People are always screaming about the images out there, but I think they are overlooking the easiest way to dispel those things," he said, suggesting parents strive to be their children's role models. "We don't want our media raising our kids."

Oh, my God. So for the past half-century, advertisers and the media have done everything in their power to wage an ideological war against the family, against family values, and against parents' influence on their children. And now they say that the parents should be responsible?

A century ago, before the media was hijacked by the degenerate establishment that runs it today, which hates all forms of tradition and traditional family structures, sure, then you could have expected the family to be able to counter media influence, to a point. But now that mothers are in the workplace instead of at home, and that kids grow up learning to rebel against all forms of authority, especially their parents, now it is hypocritical in the extreme for any member of the media to try to foist the responsibility for childrearing on parents.

The media has aggressively and deliberately destroyed the traditional family, so now, the media must be regulated as the overweening influence on children and youth that it has become.
Meredith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2012   #2
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Join Date: November 2008
Posts: 417
Default Re: Airbrushing warnings in Arizona

Meredith's article notes that "the bill is modeled after laws in the United Kingdom," and it turns out that those laws are actually having an effect.

Just a few weeks ago, a L'Oréal ad was banned because the airbrushing was deemed too extreme.

The pertinent points:

The advert for L'Oréal's anti-wrinkle cream featuring a striking photograph of Oscar-winning actor Rachel Weisz appeared too good to be true. "Skin looks smoother, complexion looks more even," said the double-page magazine spread. "It's not a facelift, it's Revitalift."

The industry watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, has ruled that the print advert must not appear again in its current form.

Acting on a complaint from Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, the regulator said the image of Weisz's face had been altered in post-production and . . . "misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product".

In fact, this is just the latest in a string of successes for U.K. legislators in curbing the excesses of airbrushing:

Swinson, co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence, last year successfully complained to the ASA that L'Oréal magazine ads featuring Julia Roberts, for Lancôme foundation product Teint Miracle, and Christy Turlington, for Maybelline foundation The Eraser, had been digitally enhanced.

While anything that compels the fashion industry to behave more responsibly is laudable, I am skeptical about how much of an effect this will have when it comes to promoting plus-size beauty. The trouble is the lack of focus

"The beauty and advertising industries need to stop ripping off consumers with dishonest images," [Swinson] said. "There needs to be much more diversity in advertising – different skin colours, body shapes, sizes and ages. Studies show that people want to see more authenticity from brands. Images can be aspirational without being faked."

This is the perpetual problem. By vaguely emphasizing "diversity," body image becomes just one of many points, and it inevitably gets relegated to the sidelines, like a token plus-size model in a waif-filled magazine. As with the case of H&M making one of its computer-generated emaciated frames dark-skinned, advertisers might easily comply with every other one of the "diversity" criteria, yet slyly continue suppressing the fuller female figure. And when criticized, they'll mendaciously say, "But we're already being diverse in oh-so-many ways!"

Thus, body image - the most important factor - gets sidelined once again, while other, lesser criteria are addressed.

Still, if nothing else, these cases show that the fashion/advertising industries cannot and will not regulate themselves responsibly, and thus require government oversight. What is needed is for that oversight to target the most crucial topic of all - body image - by banning underweight waifs and mandating the use of true plus-size models.
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Old 25th February 2012   #3
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 238
Default Re: Airbrushing warnings in Arizona

What I don't get is where the idea even came from that over-airbrushed images were attractive.

Men certainly don't look for the objects of their desire to resemble plastic mannequins with synthetic skin. Men find a soft, natural appearance very attractive, and contrary to what the media would have you believe, they find dimpled flesh very sensual. No airbrushing required.

The paintings in this site's Pinacotheca show how artists throughout the ages depicted Venus and other goddesses of ultimate beauty as exhibiting plump, dimpled flesh. And it's not just a historic ideal. It continues through to today.

Here's one example. Even men who find underweight girls attractive consider Scarlett Johansson to be beautiful.$11286.aspx

It's certainly not men who are pushing for the plastic look:

Men prefer natural beauties like Scarlett Johansson
July 2011

Men prefer natural beauty, a new study has revealed.

Skinny girls such as Cheryl Cole are more popular with fashion designers but blokes really want natural-looking women.

The survey by Bionsen, reported by Female First, shows that UK men think Scarlett Johansson is the most natural beauty.

The Hollywood actress was the clear winner - she’s the ultimate natural beauty, according to men.

Louise Fair, senior brand manager for Bionsen, told Female First: “Our findings reveal that being a natural beauty is about feeling more comfortable and more confident in your skin and not about cosmetic surgery and artificial beauty.

“It’s interesting to see how differently men and women perceive natural beauty.”

As if to prove the point, one celebrity Web site posted a host of images showing Scarlett Johansson, unairbrushed, on the beach.

She's extremely thin, but the images clearly show dimpled flesh along her thighs and reverse-view curves.

And remember: this is the look that, as the above article notes, men consider to be the most beautiful.

Therefore, ads that show airbrushed models with artificial, mannequin-like, plastic-looking skin are brainwashing women into pursuing a look that men don't even find appealing. The dimpled flesh that women are self-conscious about is a trait that men consider attractive.

I hope that more plus-size models will allow their natural, unairbrushed images to be publicly released.
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Old 11th April 2012   #4
Join Date: December 2011
Posts: 40
Default Re: Airbrushing warnings in Arizona

Originally Posted by Meredith
Simply creating a law requiring that airbrushing be identified would be the tiniest of victories, the most basic nod to common sense.
It would be. Moreover, it turns out that it would actually do some good.

The first-ever study of the benefits of attaching warning labels to airbrushed images was recently completed, and the results justify the practice.

Here's the complete abstract, with the important passage in bold:

Policy makers across a number of Western countries have suggested that warning labels be placed on idealized media images to inform viewers that the images have been digitally altered or enhanced, as a means of ameliorating the negative psychological effects of such media images.

The present study aimed to experimentally investigate the impact of the addition of such warning labels to fashion magazine images on women's negative mood and body dissatisfaction.

A sample of 102 undergraduate women aged 18 to 35 years were randomly allocated to view magazine fashion spreads with either no warning labels, generic warning labels that stated that the image had been digitally altered, or specific warning labels that stated the way in which the image had been digitally altered.

Participants who viewed images with a warning label (either generic or specific) reported lower levels of body dissatisfaction, but not negative mood, than participants who viewed the same images with no warning label, regardless of the degree of internalization of the thin ideal.

The findings provide the first evidence that the use of warning labels may help to ameliorate some of the known negative effects of viewing media images that feature the thin ideal.

What's frustrating is that there is an easy way to ameliorate all of "the known negative effects of viewing media images that feature the thin ideal," not just "some" of them: ban any expression of that ideal.

But at least this study indicates that warning labels would be a benefit. I hope that laws mandating the inclusion of such warning labels be passed worldwide, especially in the United States, which is the source of the majority of pro-starvation imagery.
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