independent

Monday 21 August 2017

Ban on skinny models is a positive move

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

It has been an exciting week for France with the elections alone but it also made headlines for the introduction of a ban on catwalk models that are deemed to be too thin.

It seems that models will have to produce a doctor's certificate to show they have a healthy body mass index.

The country is also set to introduce a new law making it mandatory to indicate if Photoshop has been used on any image.

I think that while some people might find this excessive, these are both well thought out changes and will certainly help with promoting healthier body image, and with letting people know whether what they are looking at is real or not.

However, it would need to be rolled out internationally in order to have a significant impact on young people today.

Referring to 'Photoshop' is pretty vague as this is simply an editing tool for photographs but I think that the message really relates to the unrealistic editing and enhancement of model and lifestyle shots. The vast majority of what we see is nothing but fake and unattainable.

Of course a young, slim and fit woman with flawless skin and long flowing hair is going to sell so-called 'health products' because there are people out there who truly believe that all they have to do is take supplements, drink some sort of tea and live on green smoothies to look this way. The model herself doesn't even look this way without the image being enhanced so how does any regular person expect to achieve this?

There is nothing but negative backlash when any famous person dares to put on a bikini and reveal the horror that is cellulite, or if a new mother has any sort of a bump after she gives birth then she is criticised for not snapping back into shape. When did we become a society that thinks that this is all that is important, that taking the perfect selfie and aspiring to these unrealistic standards will bring happiness?

Social media has so much to answer for. It has gone from being a harmless bit of fun to a dangerous stick with which to beat those with low self esteem.

The reason France wants to label Photoshopped photos is because while it is plainly obvious to many, that what they see is just an illusion, to many others this is a reality to which they compare themselves. It's a positive first step, but much more is still needed.

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