The French government has taken a bold stance to enforce transparency in photography. As of October 1st, all commercial photos of models that have been digitally altered (to make the body parts of the model appear thinner or larger) must carry the warning “photographie retouchée,” or “retouched photograph.”
Now, any photographs of models in France that appear to have unnaturally perfect or just plain unrealistic body proportions will be instantly clear whether or not they have been altered. Those advertisers who don’t carry the warning on their retouched images will be fined up to €37,500, or 30% of advertising costs.
As Snapchat and Instagram have democratized the use of filters, anyone today can appear to have flawless skin, perfect lighting and even a floral crown. However, airbrushed models can give viewers, particularly young girls and boys, unrealistic expectations of what the human body should look like. “It is necessary to act on body image in society to avoid the promotion of inaccessible beauty ideals and prevent anorexia among young people,” former French health minister Marisol Touraine told Le Parisien.