Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Bring on the 'perfect' models

Liberal Democrat Voice is a website that allows members and non-members to express their opinions on many political subjects. I joined in for one debate caused by Jo Swinson MP calling for the banning of airbrushing for children's adverts. I write a photography blog and on many occasions I have defended photographic manipulation so I was destined to give my opinion.

I couldn't see how legislation would work. Sometimes there are signs that manipulations have taken place but you just can't tell with simple changes. Even more complicated changes can be disguised if time is taken. It would be difficult to define what constitutes airbrushing. If a photo is converted to sepia has the photo been manipulated? I am sure that years could be spent trying to draft this legislation and still you would not get anywhere.

I was also concerned because there would be a move towards 'perfect' models, expensive studios, better lighting and a trend for better lying through manipulation. Advertisers are already saying "I am now going to lie to you through this photo" and banning airbrushing would make them better liars. I have seen photos of MPs that have been manipulated. Should we worry about this? There is a genuine concern about body image but this would still be a problem if unworkable legislation was passed.

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