Is it okay that Kim Kardashian’s thighs get Photoshopped and sculpted to perfection when her image is used to sell a pair of running shoes?
We’re told all the time that ‘society has wised up to the tricks of marketers’ and ‘believability of advertising is at an all time low’ – so why then is the US looking at the ‘Truth in Advertising’ act to try curb the overuse of Photoshop in the American media, which is supposedly the cause of an epidemic of eating disorders and body image problems in the youth.
According to the Time.com report:
Several research studies have found that higher exposure to beauty and fashion magazines increase the likelihood that young girls will develop negative body image and eating disorders. In one study, young girls in Fiji had already begun to develop eating disorders and body image issues only three years after western TV was introduced there.
But to be honest, how on Earth do you police this kind of deliberate augmentation of reality for the purposes of commercial gain?
Should plastic surgery then be banned, what about make up and those giant tubs of nutrition that give you ‘bulging abs and loads of luck with the ladies’ which are awfully popular in certain parts of Benoni. Is advertising still that effective that its mere existence can affect an entire population of island youngsters, from normal to Kate Moss-wannabes, in just three years?
Sadly for governments around the world the root of all evil is not the poor graphic designer trying to make a picture more palatable with the help of an Adobe product. Advertising is a reflection of society not the ‘all seeing eye in the sky’ that pays the Piper to play his tune. But perhaps by diverting attention away from the industrial-scale destruction of the American economy by the US Fed, lawmakers can tee up the perfect scape goat that will appease ignorant consumers as they struggle to make sense of a world where competition and winning at all costs is lauded way above taking the time to understand the reasons for the problem.
The same way the Betamax video tapes because irrelevant because society had no more use for them, advertising’s reliance on technology to reflect what people want for themselves will continue in a world where the mindset of ‘nothing less than the best will do’ is encouraged. Pressure to be the best emanates from everywhere and the need to look desirable is just one result of a global mindset of intense competition.
So banning or regulating the use of Photoshop in modern media is not only pointless, it’s irresponsible for educated members of society to even suggests that it would make a difference. Wake up – the problem you wish to cure it all pervasive.
Banning rock ‘n roll never took away a teenager’s desire to give a damn – so why would not retouching Kim’s ass save us from a zombie apocalypse?