Bring back real women with campaign against airbrushing in advertising

fashion ads2The Liberal Democrats today launched an online campaign encouraging people to report adverts featuring heavily airbrushed images of women to advertising watchdogs.

The online campaign is encouraging people to complain to the Advertising Standards Agency and the Committee of Advertising Practice about adverts which portray unrealistic and unhealthy body images.

The campaign, which also seeks a ban on adverts aimed at under-16s using digital retouching to portray unrealistic body images, has received backing from a range of organizations, including The National Centre for Eating Disorders, Girlguiding UK and leading academics.
fashion ads1Views On Airbrushing

“They always have the same kind of dead-looking girls. It isn’t interesting and the girls aren’t
interesting. Because they are not girls. They are androids. Airbrushed and cleaned up and
not real”
Celebrity photographer David Bailey on the state of modern British fashion photography.
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‘I think the public is aware that many images they see are retouched, but I do not think they
know or understand the extent to which it is being done. And unfortunately that is the goal of
the retoucher, to alter the image without any detection that you were there.’

‘I do think it would be a good idea to have images labelled or at least credit the post
production team, but I also think more awareness is necessary’

‘I love the process of creating a beautiful image and how I can execute a vision, but I also
know I am contributing to the low self esteem and unrealistic body image many people
Christy Schuler Professional retouching artist and tutor

Clothes created for catwalk shows, which are also used by magazines in their photo
shoots, have become “substantially smaller” and Vogue is often “retouching” photographs
in order to make models “look healthier.”
Alexandra Shulman editor of Vogue

Commenting, Liberal Democrat MP, Jo Swinson, who chairs the party’s working group on women’s policy, said:

“Adverts that feature heavily retouched images of perfect skin, perfect hair and perfect figures mean that women and girls increasingly feel that nothing less than perfect will do.

“Advertisers should be honest and upfront about the extent of airbrushing that goes on. It is frankly dishonest to advertise an anti-wrinkle cream and then airbrush out all of the wrinkles in the ad. And it is simply irresponsible to take already underweight women and then slice off pieces of their thighs or hips in the computer suite.

“This campaign aims to make the Advertising Standards Agency and the Committee of Advertising Practice use the power they have to insist adverts clearly indicate if they’ve been airbrushed.

“Consumers should have as much information as possible and children should have the space to develop their self-esteem without constantly being bombarded with a narrow range of manipulated images that promote conformity.”