Why Getty is finally banning all photoshopped images of models’ bodies

It's an attempt to eradicate unrealistic beauty standards

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

For years, many have campaigned against the use of photoshop on the runway, in magazines, as well as for movie posters. Just last week, the upcoming Tomb Raider poster came under fire for some seriously questionable editing when it came to Alicia Vikander’s neck, and Emily Ratajkowski called out a magazine for making her lips and breasts smaller in their cover photo.

So what can be done to ensure that the photoshopping of images doesn’t get out of hand? Stock photo agency Getty has come up with a solution, and is making a statement by refusing to accept images that have been altered to change models’ bodies.

The company sent an email to its contributors, announcing that from October 1st 2017 they require ‘that you do not submit to us any creative content depicting models whose body shapes have been retouched to make them look thinner or larger.’

However, while contributors must be careful not to alter their subjects’ bodies, ‘other changes made to models like a change of hair colour, nose shape, retouching of skin or blemishes, etc., are outside the scope of this new law, and are therefore still acceptable.’

It comes shortly after news that, internationally, changes are being made to contain just how much editing can be done. Only recently, France passed a law that states magazines must make it clear when an image has been photoshopped, or they will face fines of up to €37,500 (£33,000). The country also put a ban on unhealthily thin models, with LVMH and Kering banning models aged under sixteen, and that are a size zero (UK size 4).

It’s great to see larger companies are doing their bit to eradicate unrealistic beauty standards within the industry. While it might take a while for others to follow suit, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

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