Wellbeing

Major body image breakthrough as influencers hit by new law

Finally, honesty about editing!

When we think critically about the images we see online, we know nearly all of them are doctored in some way.

Yet when mindlessly scrolling this can easily escape us and instead our subconscious absorbs these pictures like a sponge, leaving us feeling inadequate in all areas of life.

However, thanks to progressive legislators in Norway, this is all set to change.

They are serving up influencers and advertisers a large slice of humble pie and they will no longer have free rein of altering content without ‘fessing up that it has been retouched.

[Credit: Fausto Sandova]

The hope is that with transparency over Photoshopping, our European friends can tackle the soaring levels of body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem triggered by the use of social media.

Now, there will be a law that states tweaked photos must be labelled as revamped, so each time someone scrolls it will be in black and white that a person’s appearance has been fictionalised.

Speaking about the changes, a ministry statement declared that while body pressure is ultimately difficult to combat, steps can be done to control it – namely, manipulated images to be marked.

[Credit: Nathan Dumlao]

Regardless of how edited an image is – whether full digital airbrushing to change skin tone or cinch waistlines, or simply photos that have been shot through a filter – will need citing.

Should the law make its way over to the UK, we could see not only advertisers change how they present images but also high-profile individuals paid for product endorsements.

This would mean everyone from the A-list to the Z-list admitting that the picture they are presenting is a fantasy and does not depict their likeness in reality.

[Credit: Gian Cescon]

One woman determined to see the changes here is Suzanne Samaka, a mum from Watford, who has launched the #HonestyAboutEditing campaign to address our mental health crisis.

Suzanne said: “Social media means young people have a highlight reel of perceived perfection at their fingertips at a time they should be building confidence and resilience.”

As Suzanne also points out, the stats don’t lie.

In the UK, a survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health asked 14-24 year-olds how social media platforms impacted their health and wellbeing with results revealing they were all linked to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness.

To help redefine beauty, click here: Change Social Media Laws.

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