Models pose for a photographer backstage before Basso & Brooke's Autumn/Winter show at London Fashion Week on February 14, 2007 in London.
Models pose for a photographer backstage before Basso & Brooke's Autumn/Winter show at London Fashion Week on February 14, 2007 in London.

Getty bans all 'photoshopped' images that alter models' body shapes

The vocal backlash against the use of editing software is finally making waves

Sarah Young
Tuesday 26 September 2017 12:36
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Getty Images has announced that it is banning all "photoshopped" images of models.

In a world of photoshop mania, where cellulite, acne and stretchmarks simply don’t exist, a backlash against the use of editing software is finally hitting an industry that has, for way too long, offered unrealistic beauty standards as the norm.

Luckily, there are some pretty major companies that are trying to do something about it, including Getty Images.

In an email to contributors, the company has announced that effective of October 1 it requires “that you do not submit to us any creative content depicting models whose body shapes have been retouched to make them look thinner or larger.”

The move comes after a new French law obligates magazines to indicate when a photo of a model has been retouched or photoshopped, or else they face a €37,500 fine.

Moreover, France placed a ban on the use of unhealthily thin models while two luxury powerhouses, LVMH and Kering, joined forces with a ban on size zero (UK size four) models and girls under the age of 16.

While retouched images are common practice in the media, this development comes at a time when its effect on women’s struggle with self-image and a focus on inclusivity in the industry is reaching fever pitch.

But, it seems that there’s still a way to go.

The e-mail states that although edited images of models’ body shapes are a no-go, “other changes made to models like a change of hair colour, nose shape, retouching of skin or blemishes, etc., are outside the scope of this new law, and are therefore still acceptable.”

According to the code of ethics of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) - a professional society that promotes high standards in visual journalism - “editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images' content and context.”

In addition, the NPPA code urges photographers not to “manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.”

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