In an announcement made yesterday, Getty Images revealed that from 1st October they will be banning all images that have been retouched to make models appear slimmer or larger. The change in policy comes after France introduced a new law, ruling that all magazines must state whether or not a picture has been Photoshopped, failing to do so can result in a fine of up to £37,000.
Although Getty Images have imposed a commendable change, they haven’t quite done enough. The ban applies to images that have been Photoshopped to alter the model’s weight, however, retouching of skin blemishes, hair colour, nose shape, and anything else along those lines is still cool with the stock photo agency.
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We’re all too familiar with being exposed to retouched images in the media and it’s a massive problem. Only a couple of weeks ago, model and actress Emily Ratajkowksi took to Instagram to shut down a magazine that had Photoshopped her pictures without permission. Retouched images of those in the spotlight allow others to draw comparisons between themselves and something that isn’t even real, which isn’t healthy for anyone.
What’s worse is the development of apps, programmes and filters which allow users to airbrush and retouch their personal pictures. These apps are often used on pictures that are later uploaded to social media, and therefore help to continue the dangerous cycle of comparison.
When questioned on the rule change, Getty Images said ‘our perceptions of what is possible are often shaped by what we see: positive imagery can have a direct impact on fighting stereotypes, creating tolerance, and empowering communities to feel represented in society.’
Despite a step in the right direction, it’s odd that Getty Images haven’t expanded the ban to all types of retouching. Although we can now expect to see a model at her true size, we still don’t know whether her nose, boobs or hair is real, which is extremely damaging.
Perhaps Getty Images will review their ban and make some changes. Their admirable move now puts pressure on similar companies to do the same, so that maybe we can hope for an edit-free Instagram in the near future.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.