Is this the end of Photoshop as we know it?
Some companies are trying to get a bill passed that gets the Federal Trade Commission to put restrictions on the way images are altered in advertisements. It’s called the Truth in Advertising Act of 2016.
This act started as a pledge. It was first written in 2014 in partnership with the Brave Girls Alliance, but now, clothing company ModCloth is working virulently to make something happen. It was the first retailer to sign the pledge, and the company recently went to Washington, DC, to raise awareness for the bill. It’s also launching a letter-writing campaign to help get the act moving.
This bill would set up guidelines for airbrushing, but it wouldn’t entirely eliminate the practice. It’s a necessary evil that sometimes can eliminate a wrinkle in apparel, for instance.
It would, however, force companies to refrain from “materially changing models in advertising in the same way you can’t claim that a car can drive you 500 miles an hour and … fly,” ModCloth founder Susan Gregg Koger told Business Insider in a phone interview.
I’m not a politician, but I’m 31 years old … I’m in the fashion industry. I understand what can go on behind the scenes with photo shoots and understand [that] even though we [ModCloth] don’t materially alter images, I understand how it can work. But emotionally it’s … tough to be surrounded by advertising where you’re seeing [an] unrealistic ideal of [how] beauty looks.
I know that if I feel that way, then younger people feel that way as well. This is a conversation that’s happening all around the world right now … [and] there’s been more and more … research [that] shows that it is truly harmful … particularly to young people, particularly to young women.
- Modcloth Facebook
Politicians are on board, too.
The bill is currently sponsored by Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Democratic Rep. Lois Capps of California, and Democratic Rep. Theodore E. Deutch of Florida.
Ros-Lehtinen said in a press release:
The Truth in Advertising Act is important for so many young women and men who face body image issues due to unrealistic depictions in advertisements. Young women and men are often trying to live up to an unattainable and unhealthy “ideal body” instead of a healthy body. All stakeholders should come together and find a solution that respects consumer health and well being while permitting creativity and artistic expression.
Some companies have already omitted airbrushing from their campaigns. ModCloth has, and Aerie has arguably been leading the industry with its airbrush-free #AerieREAL campaign, too.