A new French law would penalize any form of editorial or advertising imagery, from newspapers and magazines, to billboards and packaging, that portrays women as unnaturally thin — when they’ve really been altered into an artificial and unreal shape by manipulating the images.
A group of 50 French politicians , reports the Telegraph, want a new law stating published images must have bold printed notice stating they have been digitally enhanced.
According to the paper:
Campaigning MP Valerie Boyer, of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party, said the wording should read:”Retouched photograph aimed at changing a person’s physical appearance”.
Mrs Boyer, who has also written a government report on anorexia and obesity, added: “We want to combat the stereotypical image that all women are young and slim.
“These photos can lead people to believe in a reality that does not actually exist, and have a detrimental effect on adolescents. “Many young people, particularly girls, do not know the difference between the virtual and reality, and can develop complexes from a very young age.
“In some cases this leads to anorexia or bulimia and very serious health problems.
“It’s not just a question of public health, but also a way of protecting the consumer.”
In Canada, cigarette packages, at the Government’s insistence, come with truly disgusting color photos of what damage smoking can do to the body. If these images of super-skinny girls and women keep driving their viewers to anorexia and bulimia in a hopeless and damaging attempt to emulate the impossible, maybe this is the way to fight back.
Maybe it’s really time for some truth in advertising.