American parents push for anti-Photoshop law

US mum and dad want a so-called Self Esteem Act put in place to protect children from digital enhancement in magazines and advertisements

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American mum and dad Seth and Eva Matlins have launched a campaign to get a bill passed to protect children from unrealistic images in magazines and adverts around the USA. Seth and Eva are the founders of magazine and fashion label Off Our Chests, with their aim being to “make the world a happier place, starting with women (and girls)”, according to their website.

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“We can’t ignore that our beauty culture is having wildly negative effects on girls and women,” said Eva Matlins, as reported by the Daily Mail.

“Real, serious, and enduring problems occur when we don’t recognise that the images and ideals of the human form being presented in the media are setting unrealistic expectations and standards for our country’s female population,” added Eva.

Seth Matlins explained they were inspired to create the campaign for a change in law, dubbed the Self Esteem Act, after seeing the results from the worldwide Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Apparently 80% of the approximate 4,000 girls (aged 8 to 17) surveyed said they felt female celebrities and models in the media made them insecure about their own bodies.

Closer to home, the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK has already banned two adverts, one starring Julia Roberts. The ban followed complaints by Lib-Dem MP Jo Swinson, who argued that airbrushing creates a false impression of beauty.

Primary schools are also teaching their young pupils about airbrushing, with a Powerpoint presentation showing celebrities such as mum-of-two Britney Spears. The scheme is designed to boost schoolchildren’s self-esteem by helping them to understand the difference between real photographs and digitally enhanced ones.

What do you think? Should Photoshop and airbrushing be completely banned in mags and ads?

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