In the hope of combating anorexia, 50 members of the French Assembly have proposed a bill that would require magazines to label any portraits that have been digitally altered. They claim that slimmed-down pics of celebs lead to anorexia in young women looking to attain unrealistic body sizes.
Obviously, gray area abounds. The bill says: "The publicity photographs of people whose physical appearance was altered by software image processing must be accompanied by the words: 'photograph retouched to change the physical appearance of a person.'" It does not clarify what it means by "altered". Does lighting count? Changing shading? What about color correction? And then there are all the non-digital tricks like make up, clever angles and special lighting that can alter a person's appearance as much as any computer.
The bill's goal is admirable, but misguided. Photography, by its very nature, distorts reality. Further more, we now live in the age of digital alteration, where "photoshop" is a verb and even the news alters pictures. To protect children from harming themselves as a result of the disconnect between reality and the contrived world presented in all media, not just photos, the French government might want to emphasis health education, rather than trying to rebottle the digital media genie.
To say that "camera tricks, lighting and color correction can alter a person's appearance as much as any computer" is, to say the least, an exaggeration in my opinion. I'm a graphic designer, videographer and photographer by living so I speak from personal experience.
I spent several years teaching a film class at a local high school and have seen my share of young girls who are under the impression that those photo's ARE real, as crazy as that sounds. And, quiet frankly, I'm really sick of the distortion leaders in general media create by defacing my generation and culture with explicit sex scenes, advertisements that centralize romance and sex as the meaning of life and pervade the minds of both men and woman, young and old, with the idea they want to look this way, be this weight and act like this to attract the opposite sex.
That being said. I can agree with you that it would be an annoyance to have to note something like that in every design I did, for example. Especially because, frankly, the issue is clearly the spawn of the lack of moral compass we have.
Simply put; I believe the issue is spiritual and requires communication with our creator to recall how we were designed to function, which is best displayed through Jesus from my experience.
I'm sorry is this a blog or a news article? Just give us the content and let us form our own opinions.
I totally agree with s3w47m88.
as much as I hate having more mandates, this one sort of makes sense; but it has to be specific what types of alterations.
I think photoshoping can be allowed as long as it is to fix camera effects, or to change lighting on the entire picture and not just the person to make it look like he/she has a tan.
Photoshopping should not be used to change the physical appearance of the individuals (such as whitening teeth, changing color of the eyes, making you thinner, making your nose smaller, removing scars, etc) or any other natural things; such alterations represent a false statement, it can be equated to as if a scientist changed his research data to make it look "nicer". Alterations are also disrespectful to the individual that is being photographed. It's saying "we want to put you on the cover but you are not pretty/good enough so we will change your appearance." Alterations also teach new generations that it's OK to change/falsify data and still represent it as the truth.
If the artist discloses that the photograph is altered, then he can make changes that would support his/her particular statement.
"Photography, by its very nature, distorts reality."
now, i know that due to the viewing angles of cameras a certain amount of visual distortion occurs, but why is it that photography is by nature distorting reality? i would like some further clarification, because as it exists i severely disagree with this statement.
the reason why studios edit images is not because they are evil and want to give teenagers an unrealistic body image, it is because people buy magazines with edited pictures on the cover, more than they buy magazines with unedited pictures.
media companies create media which centralizes sex and attraction because they are targeting a demographic, teenagers and early 20s, which prizes sex and attraction to a large degree.
this is simple supply and demand. because people want it the companies create it. the answer is to curb the demand, and that can be accomplished by education. why is it that health class is not taken until highschool when when puberty happens in middleschool? why are psychology and logic courses not offered until college?
if you fix the system the problems will iron themselves out.
"i would like some further clarification, because as it exists i severely disagree with this statement".
What he means is that photography protrays things in a way that is either a preferable or a polished version of reality. In a professional or artistic sense, one will select the photo(s) that compliment most whatever point they are trying to make; abridging the full spectrum or reality.
s3w47m88: Education avoids all those problems, the media will never stop making what sells. Get over it. Teach the kids whats right and wrong, not telling them what to look at or listen to. Their human and can make their own decisions. Media wont change, so change your perspective.
dkurohige: And the reason the demographic is inclined to pick up an altered photo is because they were trained to by the media. You seem to think it started with the "masses" demanding bulimic and tan people with white teeth, when in fact the media has been shoving it down our throats for so long to sell products, that's all people recognize. Kind of like how MTV used to be a Music Television channel, but now only shows BS non-stop. Where'd the music go? I can tell you right now it wasn't by demand they stop playing videos, it was by force because they had more things to sell. What magazine would want to represent itself with an image that the public is now not comfortable with (people in their natural state.) If they were to go back they wouldn't be able to sell as many beauty products as they do now. It wasn't out of public opinion they alter photos, it was out of business wanting to make money. "Buy this, look like this." If we want to change that, yes it's the masses that must stop buying into it. I don't think it will stop much though... Tabloids make a killing off altered photos for the exact opposite reason, "ugliness." Look how fat Jessica Simpson is now, oh!!!!! People need to stop being so gullible and grow a brain so they can stop forming opinions about it after buying it, and act upon it by NOT buying it. Waste of money if you ask me, but they will keep making it as long as people keep buying it, end of story.