American doctors to combat photo retouching

July 13, 2011

Life and Spirit

In a blow against photoshopping in fashion magazines, the American Medical Association has voted at their recent convention to “encourage advertising associations to work with public and private sector organisations” in combating the spread of airbrushing and retouching in advertising, “especially those appearing in teen-oriented publications.”

Image via Boing Boing

Image via Boing Boing

According to a University of Florida survey, nearly half of all American girls between the ages of 3 and 6 are already worried that they’re fat. AMA statistics record 53% of 13 year-olds as saying that they are unhappy with their bodies, with the percentage rising to 78% by age 17.

The UK hasn’t been fairing much better; a Grazia survey showed that only 2% of British women are happy with their body while 71% believe that their lives would improve if they had a great body.

Barbara McAneney from the AMA board of trustees says, “Extremely altered models can create unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image,” resulting in eating disorders, depression and other childhood and adolescent health problems that can have lifelong consequences.

Photoshopping has been an especially hot topic in the beauty and fashion industry for the past few years.  Disasters such as the notorious 2009 Ralph Lauren ad (image on the right, check it out) that made a model’s waist smaller than her head have put a spotlight on the industry’s current (frankly, unrealistic for most) standards.

Do you think having a major world medical association officially on board is going to help slow down the rampant airbrushing of ads and fashion magazines? Will stopping retouching even be enough to help the body image of our kids and teenagers? Share your thoughts here.


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  • Graphic Design

    Thanks for sharing your nice post.