Can you tell which cover girls are the real thing?

Boots has pledged to stop digitally enhancing its models

One of Britain's biggest glossy magazines has broken ranks to take a stand against the digital trickery that transforms models into gaunt-faced mannequins.

It is not Cosmopolitan, or even Vogue, but Boots Health & Beauty magazine, which has more than three million readers. The publication is taking a stand against fakery, pledging that future covers will feature "natural" models who have not been digitally enhanced with the computerised version of the surgeon's knife. There is "no smoothing, enhancing or polishing" of the model on the cover of the May/June issue.

Elizabeth Fagan, the marketing director of Boots UK, said the move was a "permanent commitment" and an extension of a previous decision to ban airbrushing from advertising for No7 cosmetics.

The abandonment of retouching and airbrushing "in all our materials" is an ongoing process. "Women want honest, realistic images from the beauty industry," Ms Fagan said. British women "don't have an airbrushed life" and want "believable images", she added.

Helen Daley, editor of Boots Health & Beauty, said: "There's real pressure on the industry from readers who are becoming more discerning about the use of photographic trickery, and who want to look at images that make them feel good about themselves." She added: "We've had nothing but positive feedback in and outside of the industry and believe other magazines will follow suit. "

The move is part of a growing awareness that things need to change, according to Caroline Nokes MP, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on body image. It comes a week after The Independent on Sunday reported that Vogue is making a film to tell schoolchildren the truth behind its portrayal of women – to promote healthier attitudes on eating and body image.

But publishers are resisting pressure to stop "airbrushing", known as digital retouching. Britney Spears is the latest celebrity to get a digital makeover – in the June issue of Shape magazine she has a more toned silhouette than the one in photographs of her taken outside a gym in Los Angeles just two weeks ago.

When asked if they were considering following Health & Beauty's example, the publishers of Cosmopolitan, Elle, Vogue and Tatler did not respond. The publishers of Grazia and Marie Claire referred to an umbrella statement by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA), which stresses how "seriously" publishers take their responsibilities and describes "body image and eating behaviours" as "extremely complex" issues.

Alexander Fury, Fashion Editor of The Independent, said: "While there's a place for airbrushing in fashion, which deals in fantasy, there is a major problem when it is perceived as reality. There's definitely a need for greater honesty in the industry, a move away from incredulous CGI-perfection presented as 'Girl Next Door'."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
News
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
news
News
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
news
News
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) - City, London

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?