Thursday, 5 August 2010

Should there be a Law on airbrushed images

I saw this news report on the BBC the other day and felt it would make a good post for people to comment upon.
Airbrushing has existed now for a lot of years but where should we draw the line? There is a vast difference from removing a pimple or a few wrinkles around the eyes, compared to full body re- sculpturing.
The problem seems to be mainly in celebrity, fashion and the glamour side of photography and how these images effect the psyche of young people both male and female. Trying to look like these manipulated mannequins causes serious issues that can lead to severe illness and even death. Is this true? and who is responsible? Should we blame the photographer for allowing his images to be recreated on the computer by retouchers until it bares no resemblance to the original. Is it the responsibility of the editors of these magazines who's job it is to sell their product no matter what, failure to do that and they will be replaced. Or is it the consumers fault? after all we buy them.

I myself have manipulated and touched up images to CREATE a better photograph. However I have never manipulated people, but to be fair it's not my living and if it were maybe I would have to think differently, if a customer wants it. My belief is that people come in all shapes and sizes and there is beauty in the natural form. As individuals we are all critical of our own appearance, always looking at our imperfections. Young people have always looked at celebrity and been effected by their looks and dress. It used to be Ava Gardner Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, now it's Kate Moss, Posh Spice and Keira Knightley etc etc..

Have things really changed?
Do we need a law to stop retouching?
Will it make any difference?

When I look at fantastic looking men and woman, I wish I had been able to photograph them, to stand behind the lens of my camera and try and capture the real person within the image. After all isn't that what photography is all about?
If we change and manipulate them are we not stripping them of their true identity and devaluing their talent? 
Should we have a law against plastic surgery? another form of manipulation of the human form. 
I could go on for ever and the argument would grow and grow.
Personally I think the responsibility lies with all of us, we live in a material world where how we look and what we own are the most important things in life. Yes I do believe that these magazines that manipulate images to excess have an effect on how young people regard themselves. But I think the problem is more widespread than editorials or the movie business.
According to News Channels, Obesity is now one of the biggest health problems in the developed world. So who is to blame for that? What's the answer? Who knows!
What do you think?


Levonne said...

Well, we have created this culture of youth and slim body worshipping and we perpetuate it with our choices in spending.

Sandra said...

for petes sake, it is way to early to be THINKING about all this. but I thought anyway.
I say NO laws, we have to many laws, and don't enforce the ones we have. but I am against the touch ups that make the person what they are not. Not talking about makeup and hair which changes women drastically. but the sculpting of photos i just don't get. I am all for playing around with photos, why not, photography is an art and if someone can throw paint on a canvas, or sling it and get paid big bucks for art, we can certainly manipulate photos to what we like. and it is fun to change a freinds looks. only for fun. instead of laws, people will have to change how their children feel by letting them know the photos are not really that person. maybe we could get them to post the before and after photos, like the after on the cover and inside the before,Not Gonna Happen, but i think it is a good idea.

Valerie said...

Definitely no laws... a nanny state already exists, we don't want to make it any worse. For as long as I can remember (too long!) girls and boys have copied their heroes and I don't think it will ever stop. If there are to be changes then I think it should start in the home, the right encouragement and parenting works wonders. It worked for me, I never copied anyone.

Valerie said...
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Judy said...


My blog on "Gray Haired Ladies" expresses my attitude on this.
I have embraced my age and the natural "baggage" (no pun intended)that entails.
Great post!