Luisa Zissman has defended Photoshopping photographs of her children during a debate about retouching school portraits.
On Wednesday, Zissman appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the news that a school in the US offered parents the choice to retouch their children’s portraits.
The former Apprentice star has three daughters Dixie, nine, Indigo, three, and two-year-old Clementine.
The 32-year-old admitted that while she has never edited one of her children’s school photographs, she does regularly alter family ones.
“I’ve just smoothed their skin, or if there’s a bit of ketchup…," Zissman told hosts Susanna Reid and Adil Ray.
“They’re not so lovely when they’re covered in crumbs of food. Two of them are ginger, so they have that fair skin that gets all red and blotchy, and I think it’s nice to look a bit smoother. And not look back and think, ‘Oh, my poor face!’"
Zissman defended her decision by adding she would never Photoshop her children’s permanent features and that they are unaware their images have been edited.
“When it’s on the wall I like it to look nice, I’ve got a very nice house. I want them to fit the brand of the house,” Zissman explained.
“They don’t know, they just think they’re beautiful always, Photoshop or not.
“I wouldn’t Photoshop out a scar, or something like that because I wouldn’t want them to be ashamed of anything like that, but for me, there’s a line.”
The mother-of-three also said she would never use an Instagram filter on any pictures of her daughters.
“I don’t put my kids on social media either. I’m not one of those mums who has a filter on them which I think is worse,” Zissman continued.
“I do think there’s a line to it, but for a school photo that you look back on, I think girls especially – and I’m really conscious raising three girls – sometimes a little ego boost, sometimes it’s okay not to like things about yourself.”
However, author Dawn O’Porter – who has two sons with comedia Chris O’Dowd – argued that Zissman’s decision to airbrush images of her children could be “instilling a bad feeling” in them.
“Bad school photos are a rite of passage, I love laughing about mine. They’re so cheesy, they’re so blotchy, they’re so terrible,” O’Porter said.
“I would just be worried about that future conversation of, “didn’t you think I was good enough? I was a child and you didn’t think I was cute. Let’s not instill that feeling.”
Viewers at home were divided over the debate, with many criticising Zissman for her comments
“I’m speechless, your children are beautiful, they’re your world,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“No wonder there is no self-love with toxic damaged parents like that.”
Another agreed, adding: “What message is this sending to children? they shouldn’t have to worry about what they look like.”
However, many others defended the reality TV star and praised her for being so honest.
“The honesty is real @TheLuluLife absolutely love her,” one person wrote.
Another added: “Raising two princesses myself I completely get everything you said on #GMB you came across really well and I totally got everything you said.”
The debate arose after Sam Walker, a British broadcaster who moved from Manchester to Arizona, US, five months ago, revealed that her children’s school gave her the option to have their school photograph’s airbrushed.
Sharing a photograph of the form she received from the school on Twitter, Walker wrote: “The girls have their school photo today and there is the option to AIRBRUSH the picture!
“There are two levels offered!! What the....?! Have complained! What 8 yr old needs to be paranoid about an “uneven skin tone”
Walker’s tweet quickly went viral online, amassing more than 13,000 likes and hundreds of comments from shocked social media users.
“Absolutely horrific” one person commented.
Another added: “That is genuinely shocking ... I mean seriously. With the mental health crisis kids are facing: they don’t need this kind of message."
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