Photoshopping a model’s body without a disclaimer is now illegal in France. French advertisers will be fined for re-shaping models bodies virtually without mentioning that the model has undergone a digital correction. These edited versions must bear a disclaimer - photographie retouchée - to inform the public that the image has been edited to perfection.
The new rule took effect after Getty images banned photographers from submitting any content with models whose bodies have been altered. Photoshopping models has become a norm across the fashion industry, to enhance a model’s figure when it fails to meet the required standards of beauty. France is, however, out to change those standards and this move is a start.
French officials claim that the rule was enacted to reduce the number of ‘unrealistic images of bodies’ that viewers are exposed to. According to AFP, 6,00,000 young people suffer from eating disorders in France. After road accidents, eating disorders are the top cause of death among 15-24-year-old's in the country. The French government is trying to tackle image-doctoring as a public health issue.
Body shaming, stereotyping, colour shaming, weight shaming and other similar kinds of shaming of the flesh is practiced religiously in India. They are perpetuated by the audio-visual mediums the masses are exposed to. Advertisements play a vital role in forming these stereotypes. Our industry aces the art of photoshopping bodies of models to match required standards, which in turn has its impacts on those who consume them. 60% of India is reported to be malnourished. While most suffer because they do not get to eat, some chose not to eat to meet standards set by the industry.Psychiatrists have claimed that urban India has reported cases of anorexia nervosa, a condition where despite the availability of food, the patient suffers from a ‘slimming disease’ and starve themselves to death. With the French government setting new standards in the beauty and modeling industry, will India and other nations follow suit?