It's no secret that advertisers and magazine producers use Photoshop extensively to make their models look thinner, sleeker and blemish free. But should Congress get involved when the use of digitally altered images goes too far? A group of legislators, backed by the Eating Disorder Coalition, says yes.
Legislation was recently introduced into Congress, which calls for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the use of altered images in commercial ads. If passed, the Truth in Advertising Act of 2014, would require the FTC to develop what's called a "regulatory framework" for ads that make significant changes to a model's image through digital retouching such as Photoshop.
Unrealistic images of women in advertising often get blamed for an increase in eating disorders and body image problems among young girls exposed to this type of media.
Supporters argue that glossy magazines and print ads featuring unrealistically thin and beautiful women can cause problems for young girls' self esteem and should be regulated to offer a more realistic image.
The bill introduced to Congress wouldn't ban advertisers from altering an image too much, so would the bill have any impact? Should the FTC be regulating the 'overuse' of Photoshop? Should advertisers be held responsible for promoting an unhealthy body image to young girls?
Melissa Wardy, Executive Director of the Brave Girls Alliance, a collaboration of businesses and nonprofits focused on supporting girls' empowerment.
Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, a research and consulting firm specializing in advertising.