Girl Guides back call to label airbrushed images

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The Independent Online

Airbrushed images of glamorous celebrities should be labelled in a bid to tackle "damaging and unrealistic pressures" on young women, Britain's biggest girls' group said today.

A campaign calling on the Government to introduce compulsory labelling on "touched-up" pictures in magazines has been launched by Girlguiding UK.

Half of 16 to 21-year-old girls consider having surgery to change the way they look with 42% of 11 to 16-year-olds admitting to watching what they eat, the group said.

Liz Burnley, of Girlguiding UK, said: "We know how profoundly they feel the pressure to conform to a particular body image and how badly they can be affected by these unobtainable ideals.

"We are proud to support the calls of our members who believe that it is time that the Prime Minister addressed their concerns and acted in the interests of girls and young women across the country."

Susan Ringwood, of eating disorder charity Beat, said: "Young people with eating disorders tell us that being surrounded everyday by pictures of unnaturally 'perfect' bodies makes their own recovery so much more difficult to achieve.

"We know the difference it would make to all young people's self esteem and body confidence if they could be sure which of the images they see are natural and true to life.

"We are committed to working with Girlguiding UK and others to make this important call to action a reality."

Singer Javine backed the campaign, saying: "Girls need to learn to be confident with their bodies. They need to cherish themselves from their heads to their tip toes, embracing both their beauty and their flaws.

"Growing up is hard, and girls can often become influenced by unrealistic pictures which depict how women should look, not how they do. Such pictures can often destroy the confidence which should be helping girls blossom into tomorrow's leading women."

Airbrushing scandals

*In 2003 Kate Winslet complained about a re-touched British GQ cover in which she had been 'slimmed down'. She said of the image - 'I do not look like that, and more importantly, I don't desire to look like that'.

*A cover for W magazine in November 2009 was the spark for yet another debate about airbrushing after Demi Moore appeared to be missing a large chunk of her hip.

*After the controversy over an airbrushed poster for the film 'King Arthur' in 2004, Keira Knightley refused to be airbrushed in any publicity pictures for the film 'The Duchess'.

*Actress Jennifer Ellison criticised Maxim for airbrushing an image of her in 2004 that made it look like she'd posed naked for their front cover.

* Tina Fey graced the cover of Vogue minus a scar on her chin which she's had since childhood.