The contradictory title speaks volumes in France where they have recently enforced a law that requires photos that have been photoshopped, edited or retouched in any way MUST be labelled so. It would also require models to received a note from their doctors, saying that they are not dangerously thin before even being considered for a job. They enacted the law back in 2015, as an effort to combat anorexia and other forms of body dysmorphia; which became an increasingly prevalent issue in today’s society.
As of October 2nd this year, any company or brand that do not comply with these laws will be fined $44,100 or 30% of the cost of the advertising. Some would say it is a fitting price to pay for not complying with the law but I would argue that it is not enough, given the multitude of edited images we are bombarded with every day. Our obsession with looking perfect and seeming perfect has now affected how we interact on social media, where 57% of Australian women surveyed by the Syndey Morning Herald admit they have retouched their photos.
Australia has only tried but not in the same way France’s health minister has. Australia, back in 2010, had only suggested a voluntary “code of conduct” in the fashion industry to refrain from retouching photos. A far cry from the achievement that France can boast about today. How shameful it is that a progressive country like ours, compels 75% of women to feel ‘unattractive’, ‘ugly’ or ‘too fat’. Not only are we behind in technological advances and educational-revamping but we are now, falling behind in being socially responsible. It is not enough Australia, and guess who is paying for the short-comings of our health minister; you guessed it – every single one of us.
Body Evolution: Model Before and After Photoshop
Here is a hypothetical scenario:
What would happen if Australia also enforced a law like this?
We would soon then see that all advertisement campaigns, celebrity social media accounts and digital media to be covered with red flags labelled “retouched photo”. I wonder how much liberation there will be when that happens. We are already living a post-body mindset era, where plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Iskra are seen on runways that originally saw 0 sized models. It is time that Australia caught up.
The pinnacle Question
But again we are here to discuss the effects of such legislation on our practices as digital marketers. Which industries would be heavily affected by this change besides the fashion industry and what kind of marketing implications would we need to consider before posting a photo of our products online?
One of my many answers to this question: FOOD. The number of times I have gone to buy food from somewhere and it looks nothing like the advertisement or menu item that I saw. Looking at you McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC.