Australian magazines could carry airbrush warnings

Australia asks magazines to carry airbrush warning in a bid to tackle body image and eating disorders

As women around the world become ever more concerned with body image, a report from Australia suggests magazines will be asked to carry disclaimers on images that have been airbrushed.

The groundbreaking suggestion came after the Government unveiled a new strategy to tackle body image and eating disorders.

In the past, magazines have been criticised for using airbrushing techniques to create the illusion of a perfect body, and consequently pressurising women to be a certain shape and size.

Kate Ellis, the Australian youth minister, admitted that the principles were small steps, but would help to end glamorisation of unhealthily thin women.

‘Body image is an issue that we must take seriously because it is affecting the health and happiness of substantial sections of our community’ she said.

Under a new code of conduct for the fashion industry, magazines must agree to refrain from heavy retouching of body parts, including the common practices of leg lengthening and trimming of waistlines. The new code also demands that altered photographs must now carry a disclaimer.

It is widely acknowledged that excessive airbrushing is common in fashion magazines, with celebrities including Demi Moore complaining that their bodies have been radically slimmed down in the past.

While the code is voluntary, it is one of the most strident moves by any country to tackle the growing problem of eating disorders, triggered by unrealistic images of beauty found in film, fashion and advertising.

The code has the approval of several high profile women’s magazines in Australia and Ms Ellis is in talks with modelling agencies in order to gain their support.

However, New Zealand designer Denise L’Estrage Corbet has voice her opinion that ‘our clothes look good on thinner people‘.

So where do we draw the line? Do you agree that this is an excessive move, or a step in the right direction for the fashion industry?

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