In March 2009, Kim Kardashian’s cellulite made headlines. The paparazzi didn’t snap an illicit photo of her sunning poolside, but rather, Complex, a men’s lifestyle magazine accidentally published an unaltered photo of the reality star. For those who work in the entertainment industry, it had always been common knowledge that photoshopping is standard practice. But before the Kardashian incident, the general public had remained more or less oblivious to the amount of photo retouching that occurs before a publication hits newsstands.
That has definitely changed. A plethora of media attention and debate has since emerged, questioning whether the presentation of unattainable images is harmful to young girls and women. Several countries outside of North America vehemently argue that it most certainly is. Earlier this year, Australian Minister Kate Ellis instituted a law in which all airbrushed images in women’s magazines must be identified as so. France’s MP Valerie Boyer is currently lobbying for a law that would require labels for all airbrushed images. And in the UK, MP Jo Swinson has proposed an initiative that would require all advertisements in teen magazines to remain untouched. Although many magazines would not do so voluntarily, a new magazine in the UK has chosen to lead by example.
The Central YMCA recently released Healthy Bodies earlier this month, the very first magazine to boast “an airbrush-free logo.” Chief Executive Rosi Prescott states:
“We think advertisers and the media should begin to adopt this approach in response to growing public mistrust about images they are presented with in advertising and through the media.”
To drive the point home, the front cover shows how Prime Minister Gordon Brown would look digitally enhanced, with the caption,
“Would THIS man get your vote?”
Healthy Bodies certainly has ours.