A group of experts is calling for a stricter regulations in advertising banning the use of airbrushed images in the media because of the potential harm they may cause young people dealing with negative body image issues.
Proponents of regulations want all advertisements to clearly state when an image has been artificially altered.
The organization The Liberal Democrats has started a campaign to help young people battle the problems of health issues such as clinical eating disorders, steroid use, and extreme exercising that can be brought on by a dissatisfaction with their overall body image. At the root of this campaign is the controversy over airbrushed photos in advertisements. Jo Swinson, of the Liberal Democrats told the Telegraph that she believes “Airbrushing means that women and young girls are being bombarded with images of people with perfect skin, perfect hair and perfect figures which are impossible to live up to.”
The Liberal Democrats would not only like to see disclaimers added to airbrushed photos, but they would like a total ban on all airbrushed advertisements aimed at young people under sixteen years old. They also see the increase in the popularity of plastic surgery as an issue and would like to require cosmetic surgery advertisements to list their success rates.
Many concerned parents and watchdog groups fault the airbrushed photos in fashion magazines with creating an unrealistic view of the human body. Advocacy groups are calling on the Advertising Standards Agency to get involved and require notification on each airbrushed image used in the media. Some experts are concerned that the constant bombardment of false body images to young people will negate the positive effects of the surge in schools offering diverse exercise options to young people such as yoga, dance, and aerobics.