It’s time that women stop being judged on the basis of the size of their body or the colour of their skin or the wrinkles (or lack thereof) on their face. Shedding light on the struggle against unrealistically thin body shapes and sizes, models themselves have – of late – been calling out magazines for editing their pictures to suit the ‘attractive norm’. But in the glamour industry, little in the form of collective steps had been taken to rid the world of the “flawless body image”. However, the last two months have seen a huge change. In September, LVMH and Kering – two fashion houses that own many of the world’s premier brands – announced that size zero models would no longer walk for them. The second decision came from Getty Images, which recently banned the use of retouched pictures of women.
One of the most influential stock photo agencies in the world, Getty’s decision came into effect on October 1, after a new French law came in stating that it needs publications to disclose whether the shape of a model in a commercial photo has been digitally altered with a note “photographie retouchée” (or “retouched photograph”).
In a public disclosure, Getty asked its contributors to “not submit any creative content depicting models whose body shapes have been retouched to make them look thinner or larger.” From eating to shopping and swimming, pictures floating around on the Internet will now showcase real bodies of women instead of the so-called “perfect body size” to viewers.
What’s more, if a publication used a photoshopped image without labelling it correctly, it could be fined up to $44,000. This means that a good chunk of the thousands of photos that surround us will now finally show REAL women of all shapes and sizes as opposed to the edited, unreal version that subconsciously force people to believe that it’s supposed to be the norm, thus, paving way for global acceptance too. However, the rule allows for changes to hair colour, nose shape, skin and blemishes.
This law could bring a huge change to the perception of women globally. Not only could it open new doors of opportunity for plus-sized models, it could help save models from starving unnecessarily and even be instrumental in entirely eradicating body size as a parameter for female models. In an official statement sent on email, Getty also said: “Our perceptions of what is possible are often shaped by what we see: Positive imagery can have direct impact on fighting stereotypes, creating tolerance and empowering communities to feel represented in society.”
So, if you’re browsing Internet in the near future, you may catch a glimpse of what real women look like — and it’s definitely not the skinny size people have been forced to imagine over the years.