France Completely Changed Their Laws Around Photoshop, Should The U.S. Do The Same?

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France Completely Changed Their Laws Around Photoshop, Should The U.S. Do The Same?


People have always felt squeamish about the standards for beauty that are presented in things like fashion magazines and ads, and the 21st Century has only added to that thanks to the rise of digital photography and photo editing.


Over the past few years, the appearance of Photoshopped images of models has become increasingly common in the fashion industry, to the point where it's almost expected. However, that's not to say that the public is exactly happy about it; there have been several prolific cases of activists, the models themselves, and even celebrities expressing outrage and disgust at the practice.

Vanessa Hudgens made a point of labeling that her photoshoot for Bongo was untouched and unalteredBongo

It's easy to understand what people see as the issue here; the fashion industry has long been under fire for presenting an increasingly self-conscious world with an "unrealistic" standard of beauty. This of course only gets more contentious with the practice of photoshopping models, as these images are now setting a beauty standard that is quite literally impossible for many, including the models, to achieve.

Redbook Magazine

On the other hand, some people have argued that these publications are under no obligation to cater to everybody, and that people should be able to understand that an image in a magazine isn't meant to be representative of real-life expectations.


Well, apparently France feels that photoshopping is an issue, as they've just introduced a law requiring all publications to be more diligent in highlighting when a picture has been edited.

The details about the new law are interesting, and we're curious what you think about it...

As of October 1, just in time for the world-famous Paris Fashion Week, all commercial images in France that feature digitally retouched models must all have the inscription "photographie retouchée", or "retouched photograph". Failure to do so carries a steep fine of 37,500 Euros, roughly $44,000 US.

Total Beauty

This is thanks to the new law that's being referred to as the "photoshop decree," which was part of a larger public health law, which was created for the "prevention and early diagnosis of eating disorders." Article 19, the "decree" section of the law, explains that "all commercial images that have been digitally retouched to make models look slimmer, or larger, must be accompanied by the label: 'retouched photograph.'"


This new law was promoted by former health minister Marisol Touraine, and signed by former president Franí§ois Hollande in January 2016. The idea behind it is to apparently tackle eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia as matters of public health.


What do you think? Some are applauding the law as being a good step towards treating eating disorders with the seriousness and attention that they deserve, while others have already argued that it's up to an individual person to be more media savvy and to understand that they shouldn't be comparing themselves to models.

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