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Petition launched for labelling of airbrushed images

March 20, 2012

Israel has just passed new legislation that forces magazines and papers to make it clear when they have used air-brushing.  The legislation also bans  the use of underweight models.  Here in the UK, a government e-petition with similar aims has been launched, demanding that all airbrushed images in advertising and the media be clearly labelled.

It is widely accepted among mental health experts that the ubiquity of airbrushed pictures is having a profoundly negative effect on body image and the standards by which we judge appearance.  At least 1.6 million people in the UK are suffering with eating disorders, and institutions such as The Priory Group and The National Eating Disorders Association attribute this to the decline in self-esteem that is associated with unrealistic images in the media.

Labelling airbrushed images has been the subject of campaigns before; most notably the Girl Guides launched a movement in 2010 calling for the initiative.  An independent Home Office review conducted by Dr Linda Papadopoulos in 2010 also concluded that the labelling of digitally-enhanced images would be beneficial, with Papadopoulos arguing- “Evidence suggests that even brief exposure to airbrushed images can lead to acute body dissatisfaction”.

The link to the petition is

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