Germany's top-selling women's magazine is considering abandoning its use of amateur models barely two years after deciding to banish professional ones.
The fortnightly Brigitte hit the headlines in 2009 when it said it would feature only real
women in its pages, part of a backlash against the use of ultra-thin professional models in fashion.
The new direction proved more difficult than anticipated. For one thing, the magazine says, its stylists and photographers have found it is
harder and takes longer to work with inexperienced non-professional models. At the same time the models are being paid at a level comparable to professionals, the Su ddeutsche Zeitung reports.
At the same time, the radical move has
not had the desired impact on readers. They have complained that the women that now appear in Brigitte's pages are just as skinny and pretty as the models previously used.
Furthermore, the publicity gained by abandoning models appears to have done
little for the bottom line. Sales have continued to slide.
Now, with Stephan Schafer taking over at the helm as co-editor-in-chief alongside Brigitte Huber, the magazine is reconsidering the policy.
Teenagers Carina Cruz and Emma Stydahar delivered a 28,000 signature petition to Teen Vogue to express their distaste for the common magazine practice of airbrushing images.
A group of approximately 10 girls staged a protest fashion show
outside the Conde' Nast building in Times Square to deliver the petition. Smiling for the cameras, the teenagers walked up and down a makeshift runway holding placards like Let's get real -- all girls are beautiful and Teen Vogue #KeepItReal.
Emma Stydahar, 17, a high school senior said:
I don't think girls should grow up in a world where beauty magazines dictate they should have a low self-esteem.
Images that have been
photoshopped have a bad effect and can really hurt young girls. We're looking for more diversity of girls and body types [in these publications].
According to Stydahar, 75% of girls get depressed within three minutes of shuffling
through a beauty magazine's pages because the beauty patterns they convey as ideal are unattainable.
[And if the images were no longer airbrushed then girls would still get depressed within three minutes of shuffling through a beauty magazine's
pages because the beauty patterns they convey as ideal are unattainable]. Fashion models are unattainably pretty, even without Photoshop...Get over it.
The girls were allowed to meet with Teen Vogue editors, where they handed over a petition to the magazine with more than 20,000 signatures, however they told
Jezebel the editors reactions were not what they expected.
They explained: We walked in, there was no handshake, no "my name is", none of that. Just, "you sit here, you sit there. So you wanted this meeting - what do you want to
say?" We said what is in our petition... They proceeded to take out handfuls of magazines with little Post-It notes in them, [marking] what they perceived to be diverse images.
Most of them were thin African-American models. It was a
good start - we love seeing women of color in these magazines. But two or three an issue - and all of them super stick skinny - isn't what we're looking for.
Emma added that the meeting consisted of the editors telling the teenagers that they
hadn't done their homework , and that Teen Vogue is a great magazine, being unfairly accused.
They agreed to not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder,
They also said that they will ask
casting directors to check IDs at photo shoots and fashion shows and for ad campaigns.
American, French, Chinese and British editions of the fashion glossies are among those that will start following the new guidelines with their June issues; the
Japanese edition will begin with its July book.
Conde Nast International Chairman Jonathan Newhouse said in a statement:
Vogue believes that good health is beautiful. Vogue Editors around the world want the
magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers.
No doubt this will do nothing to stem criticism from the politically correct. AP reports that there is
still persistent criticism that the fashion world creates a largely unattainable and 'unhealthy' standard that particularly supposedly affects impressionable young girls.
Israel is set to introduce a law banning underweight models from adverts.
Under the proposed legislation publications would also have to disclose when they use altered images to make women and men appear thinner.
The ban appears to be
the first time a government has used legislation to take on a fashion industry accused of abetting eating disorders by idealising extreme thinness.
The law, which will not apply to foreign publications sold in Israel, requires models to produce a
medical report, dating back no more than three months, at every shoot that will be used on the Israeli market, stating that they are not malnourished by World Health Organisation standards. WHO says a body-mass index below 18.5 is indicative of
That ludicrously means that models such as Kate Moss with a BMI of around 17 and Naomi Campbell with a BMI of around 6.5, would be considered too thin.
Top Israeli model Adi Neumman said she would not pass under the new rules,
because her BMI was 18.3. She said she ate well and exercised. She also said the legislation should have focused on health and well-being, not weight.
Lynne Featherstone spouts touched up bollox at the
But surely there is an equally vicious pecking order ready to damage people's self esteem in whichever talent people choose to follow. Do we now have
to worry about the vast majority of young lads who well never play for Manchester United? Or what about all the youngsters aspiring to be the prime minister? Will the government set up a counselling service so that aspiring intellectuals can come to
terms with being a bit average?
All youngsters have to come to terms with their limitations in every aspect of their lives, why is appearance singled out as the only one worthy of politically correct attention.
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone held a world-first United Nations event into the portrayal of women in the media on Wednesday 29 February.
She joined delegates in New York pontificate over the use of supposedly misleading images of women
used by the media across the globe.
The minister warned how, in extreme cases, such images can lead to eating disorders and a rise in demand for cosmetic surgery, as well as damaging self-esteem.
Delegates discussed how the media use
air-brushed perfect images and create a distorted vision of beauty that is unrepresentative and impossible to obtain. Distorted
Lynne Featherstone said:
We need to challenge this culture of
conformity and widen the definition of beauty to include all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities. And we need to help people recognise that their value goes beyond just their physical appearance.
This is an issue affecting girls
at an increasingly young age, with children of five worrying about dieting, and it is paramount that we work together to take action and support each other in every way we can.
Actress Geena Davis has teamed up with UK Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone to challenge the portrayal of women in the global media.
The minister is at a UN summit this week where she will host the first international event about body image.
She will join UN delegates to talk about how education can be used to battle negative body image and the UK's Body Confidence campaign, which focuses on gender stereotyping in the media and highlights how misleading images can supposedly cause
stress on younger women. She said:
Every day, women across the world are surrounded by body images which bear little or no resemblance to reality, whether that be the 'size zero or the perfect hourglass. These images
can cause real damage to self-esteem.
If children continue to grow up in a world filled with images of uniform beauty and airbrushed perfection, future generations will never be happy in their own skin. This is why I am bringing
the debate to the UN. Body confidence
Geena Davis, [with a 'prefect body'], welcomed the UK's body confidence campaign. She said:
Hollywood and the media have the power to shift attitudes and
achieve social change, particularly in how our children value themselves and each other. There is a real need to dispel the myths of the 'perfect body that just don't match up to the real world.'
The American Medical Association has a whinge about the use of photo-edited fashion pictures due to the supposedly negative impact it can have on the self-esteem of children and teenagers that see them.
The organisation announced a policy against
the practice today at its annual meeting. A statement released afterwards explained how a large body of literature links exposure to media-propagated images of unrealistic body image to eating disorders and other child and adolescent health problems.
It said that it wants to encourage advertising associations to work with public and private sector organizations concerned with child and adolescent health to develop guidelines for advertisements, especially those appearing in
teen-oriented publications, that would discourage the altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image.
The AMA had particular criticism for Ralph Lauren, which has a history of using
Photoshop to extremes. A member of the organisation was quoted referring to an incident in 2009, when the label edited a picture of model Filippa Hamilton to the extent that her head was bigger than her waist.
They said: In one image, a model's
waist was slimmed so severely, her head appeared to be wider than her waist. We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software.
25,000 people have signed a petition calling for David Cameron to act against computer-enhanced pictures in adverts and magazines which supposedly lead to distorted ideas about beauty.
Girlguiding UK has delivered the petition to Downing Street
calling for the Government to introduce compulsory labelling for all airbrushed images.
Gemma Hallatt, an 18-year-old guide, said: We are pleased that so many people have supported our petition calling for a kitemark to distinguish between
airbrushed and natural images. We each know from our own experience that the airbrushed images that you see in magazines and on advertising boards can really affect the self confidence of girls and young women.
Most of us have no idea how
significantly these pictures are altered and are shocked when they realise that the images they have of celebrities and models are not a reality.
Hallatt also said that the guides will continue their campaign to ensure that all airbrushed
images are clearly marked.
Sorry girls. The pop star image that you are idolising has been artificially enhanced.
Photoshopped images of models and celebrities should be labelled to ease the damaging pressures on young women to have the perfect figure, thousands of Girl Guides have demanded.
More than 20,000 girls have signed a petition urging Prime
Minister David Cameron to force magazines to tell readers when photographs have been enhanced. They claim airbrushing is undermining the self-confidence of an entire generation.
Their petition follows research conducted by Girlguiding UK, which
found that 42%of girls aged 11 to 16 admitted dieting to improve their figures. The research also found that half of those aged 16 to 21 would have surgery to improve their looks.
The guides organisation, which has 700,000 members in Britain, is
the biggest group so far to support growing criticism of advertisers and the publishing industry for its routine use of heavily doctored photographs. Images are generally retouched to make celebrities or models appear thinner or to remove wrinkles or
Lynne Featherstone, the Equalities Minister, said she wanted magazines to stop airbrushing shots or to have some sort of kitemark to show which images were genuine, although she has said she does not want to impose regulations or change
the law. She welcomed the campaign by the guides, the biggest membership group for young girls.
Editors have the right to publish whatever pictures they want, but women and girls also have the right to be comfortable in their bodies and at the
moment they are being denied that. The fact that 20000 women have signed this petition shows there is a problem here, she said.
Liz Burnley, chief guide, said that a voluntary approach would not work. From our everyday experiences working
with girls and young women, we know how profoundly they feel the pressure to conform to a particular image and how badly they can be affected by these unobtainable ideals. We are proud to support our members, who believe that it is time the prime
minister addressed their concerns.
The UK government is to put the fashion industry under pressure to stop promoting unrealistic body images and clamp down on airbrushed photographs in magazines and adverts.
Lynne Featherstone, the inequalities minister, who has long campaigned
against size-zero photoshoots, will convene a series of discussions this autumn with the fashion industry, including magazine editors and advertising executives, to discuss how to promote body confidence among young people.
The first will focus on
airbrushing, which Featherstone argues is contributing to the dreadful pressure that young people, girls and women come under to conform to completely unachievable body stereotypes .
She will push for a Kitemark or health warning on
airbrushed photographs, warning viewers that they are not real. I am very keen that children and young women should be informed about airbrushing, so they don't fall victim to looking at an image and thinking that anyone can have a 12in waist. It is
so not possible, she told the Sunday Times.
The minister wants to see more women of different shapes and sizes used in magazine photoshoots, including curvaceous role models such as Christina Hendricks, who plays vivacious office manager Joan
Holloway in Mad Men , the US TV series about the 1960s advertising industry.
Christina Hendricks is absolutely fabulous. We need more of those role models, she said. Instead, young girls and women were continually confronted with
false images of incredibly thin women, which could create lifelong psychological damage. [Perhaps we'll then get a generation of girls feeling inferior over an impossible dream of boobs like Hendricks].
trying to convince magazine editors and advertisers to stop using digitally altered photographs and underweight models. Advertisers and magazine editors have a right to publish what they choose ...BUT... women and girls also have the right to
be comfortable in their own bodies. At the moment, they are being denied that, she said.
Magazines that do retouch pictures run the risk of breaking their own code of conduct, which states they should not publish inaccurate, misleading or
distorted information, she added. Magazines regularly mislead their readers by publishing distorted images that have been secretly airbrushed and altered.
She also called the actions of the advertising industry into question. Likewise,
the advertising standards code says no advert should place children at risk of mental, physical or moral harm, but adverts do contain airbrushed images of unattainable beauty in magazines aimed at young teenagers.
Australian magazines could be forced to carry disclaimers on any images that have been airbrushed after the government unveiled a new strategy to tackle body image and eating disorders.
Under a new code of conduct for the fashion industry,
magazines must agree to refrain from heavy retouching of body parts, including the common practices of lengthening legs, removing freckles and trimming waistlines. Where photographs have been altered, the images must carry a disclaimer.
for agreeing to the guidelines, publications will be awarded with a body image tick , similar to the Heart Foundation's healthy food symbol.
Under the same plan, the government wants designers, advertising companies and magazines to refrain
from using size-zero female models and excessively muscular male models in photoshoots or fashion shows.
While the code is voluntary, it is one of most strident moves by any country to tackle the problem of eating disorders, which 'experts' claim
are triggered by unrealistic images of beauty found in film, fashion and advertising.
Kate Ellis, the Australian youth minister, admitted that the principles were small steps but said that she hoped they would help to stop the glamorisation
of unhealthily thin women: Body image is an issue that we must take seriously because it is affecting the health and happiness of substantial sections of our community, she spouted.
Children are being sexualised from an increasingly early age by computer games, pornography and sex-related slogans, a government report will warn.
The study was written by clinical psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos for the Home Office. She said:
Little boys are always told 'aren't you clever, aren't you strong'. Little girls are told 'aren't you pretty?' even in 2010. They are adhering to what society expects and internalising behaviours.
Papadopoulos cited the example of the
computer game Miss Bimbo , where the aim of the game is to accumulate boob jobs and marry a billionaire.
The report, due out later this month, will suggest imposing age restrictions on lads' magazine such as Zoo and Nuts and
introducing a symbol to signify when a image in a magazine has been airbrushed.
Papadopoulos told the Times Educational Supplement: It's a drip-drip effect. Look at porn stars and look at how the average girls looks now. We are hypersexualising
girls, telling them their desirability relies on being desired. They want to please at any cost. And we are hypermasculinising boys. Many feel they can't live up to the porn ideal, sleeping with lots of women.
A Home Office spokeswoman said:
We know that many parents are concerned about the pressures that their teenage and even pre-teen daughters are under to appear sexually available at a younger and younger age, and about the negative impact this may be having on boys too.
Spain has stepped up its fight against what the government sees as forces that push girls into anorexia or bulimia, with the introduction of a law banning so-called cult of the body advertising on television before the Spanish watershed.
Sellers of plastic surgery, slimming products and some beauty treatments will be prevented from advertising before 10pm.
The ban is extended to other advertisers who transmit a message to children that what matters most is how they look, or that their chances of success are linked to the type of body they have. The ban comes in a new broadcasting law that has been
approved by the lower chamber of parliament and is being reviewed by the upper house.
It states: Broadcasters cannot carry advertisements for things that encourage the cult of the body and have a negative impact on self-image – such as slimming
products, surgical procedures and beauty treatments – which are based on ideas of social rejection as a result of one's physical image or that success is dependent on factors such as weight or looks.
The beauty and hygiene sector is the third
biggest spender on TV advertising in Spain – it spent about €500m in 2008. That year, TV stations broadcast 7,000 advertisements for dieting products and special treatments for slimming, cellulitis or other body worship products, as they are known
in Spain. A further 55,000 advertising slots went to beauty products.
We received identical complaints about a magazine ad for the Olay Definity eye illuminator from over 700 members of the public who complained via a website campaign. Their complaints were forwarded to the ASA by Jo Swinson MP. We also received a
complaint from a member of the public who contacted us directly. All the complainants challenged whether the ad was misleading because they believed the image of Twiggy had been digitally re-touched; the people who complained as part of Jo Swinson's
campaign also complained that the ad was socially irresponsible.
A magazine ad for the Olay Definity eye illuminator featured an image of the model Twiggy. A testimonial adjacent to her stated Olay is my secret to brighter-looking eyes!.
Further text stated Because younger-looking eyes never go out of fashion. Olay Definity eye illuminator. Reduces the look of wrinkles and dark circles for brighter, younger-looking eyes. Issue
1. Many complainants, who had forwarded their
complaints to Jo Swinson MP as part of a website campaign, objected that the ad was misleading and socially irresponsible. They believed the image of Twiggy had been digitally retouched and the use of post-production techniques could have a negative
impact on peoples perceptions of their own body image.
2. One complainant, who contacted the ASA directly, objected that the ad was misleading, because it implied that Twiggys appearance in the ad was achieved solely through the use of Olay
Definity rather than with the assistance of photographic post-production.
ASA Decision: 1. & 2. Upheld
The ASA noted the original ad seen by the complainants had been withdrawn and replaced with
one that did not have re-touching around Twiggys eyes. We acknowledged that advertisers were keen to present their products in their most positive light using techniques such as post-production enhancement and the re-touching of images. However, we
considered that the post-production re-touching of this ad, specifically in the eye area, could give consumers a misleading impression of the effect the product could achieve. We considered that the combination of references to younger-looking eyes,
including the claim Reduces the look of wrinkles and dark circles for brighter, young-looking eyes, and post-production re-touching of Twiggys image around the eye area was likely to mislead.
Notwithstanding that, we considered that consumers were
likely to expect a degree of glamour in images for beauty products and would therefore expect Twiggy to have been professionally styled and made-up for the photo shoot, and to have been photographed professionally. We also noted the ad appeared in a
magazine that targeted mature women and considered that readers of Good Housekeeping magazine and the Sunday Times Style Supplement would understand that the ad set out to associate the well-known mature female model with a brand, and would not infer
that Twiggys appearance in the ad was achieved solely through the use of Olay Definity. We concluded that, in the context of an ad that featured a mature model likely to appeal to women of an older age group, the image was unlikely to have a negative
impact on perceptions of body image among the target audience and was not socially irresponsible.
Airbrushed adverts of thin-ideal models pose a significant risk to the health of young women, claim 'experts'.
Women's daily exposure to images of perfection is linked to depression, insecurity and eating disorders, says a
study by 40 doctors, psychologists and academics.
The findings have sparked fresh calls for the Advertising Standards Authority to clamp down on airbrushed pictures. So far the ASA has said there is not enough evidence that such images do harm.
The Impact of Media Images on Body Image and Behaviours report said: Body dissatisfaction is a significant risk for physical health, mental health, and thus well-being. Any factor, such as idealised images, that increases body
dissatisfaction is thus an important influence on well-being. It added that exposure to thin-ideal images produced significant increases in self-reported depression, stress, guilt, shame, insecurity and body dissatisfaction .
So Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, who has campaigned against airbrushing, said the ASA now has all the scientific evidence it needs to act .
The French parliament has held its first hearing of a proposed law that would require every advertisement to display a disclaimer telling the public that images of people were manipulated. The goal is to help cut down on body issues in adolescents, and
violating the law could be costly.
Lawmakers are concerned about the effect that Photoshopping has on people's body images. As a result, one such member of parliament, Valerie Boyer, has proposed a law that would require enhanced images to
sport a warning, making it clear that viewers are not looking at an unretouched image.
A proponent of anorexia and bulimia awareness within the French government, Boyer believes that the disclaimer would help bring youngsters back to reality and
promote a healthier body image for all. These photos can lead people to believe in a reality that does not actually exist, and have a detrimental effect on adolescents, Boyer said in a statement this week: It's not just a question of public
health, but also a way of protecting the consumer.
It's not just Boyer who believes this, either. Fifty other French politicians have gotten behind the proposed law, which would require all enhanced photographs to read: Photograph retouched
to modify the physical appearance of a person. This would not only apply to advertisements, it would also apply to press photos, political campaigns, art photography, and photos on product packaging.