Looks so Real it must be Photoshopped

The contradictory title speaks volumes in France where they have recently enforced a law that requires photos that have been photoshopped, edited or retouched in any way MUST be labelled so. It would also require models to received a note from their doctors, saying that they are not dangerously thin before even being considered for a job. They enacted the law back in 2015, as an effort to combat anorexia and other forms of body dysmorphia; which became an increasingly prevalent issue in today’s society.

As of October 2nd this year, any company or brand that do not comply with these laws will be fined $44,100 or 30% of the cost of the advertising. Some would say it is a fitting price to pay for not complying with the law but I would argue that it is not enough, given the multitude of edited images we are bombarded with every day. Our obsession with looking perfect and seeming perfect has now affected how we interact on social media, where 57% of Australian women surveyed by the Syndey Morning Herald admit they have retouched their photos.

Good Effort

Australia has only tried but not in the same way France’s health minister has. Australia, back in 2010, had only suggested a voluntary “code of conduct” in the fashion industry to refrain from retouching photos. A far cry from the achievement that France can boast about today. How shameful it is that a progressive country like ours, compels 75% of women to feel ‘unattractive’, ‘ugly’ or ‘too fat’. Not only are we behind in technological advances and educational-revamping but we are now, falling behind in being socially responsible. It is not enough Australia, and guess who is paying for the short-comings of our health minister; you guessed it – every single one of us.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17j5QzF3kqE
Body Evolution: Model Before and After Photoshop

Here is a hypothetical scenario:

What would happen if Australia also enforced a law like this?

We would soon then see that all advertisement campaigns, celebrity social media accounts and digital media to be covered with red flags labelled “retouched photo”. I wonder how much liberation there will be when that happens. We are already living a post-body mindset era, where plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Iskra are seen on runways that originally saw 0 sized models. It is time that Australia caught up.

The pinnacle Question

But again we are here to discuss the effects of such legislation on our practices as digital marketers. Which industries would be heavily affected by this change besides the fashion industry and what kind of marketing implications would we need to consider before posting a photo of our products online?

One of my many answers to this question: FOOD. The number of times I have gone to buy food from somewhere and it looks nothing like the advertisement or menu item that I saw. Looking at you McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC.


4 thoughts on “Looks so Real it must be Photoshopped

  1. I hope many more countries will follow in France’s footsteps. I was just thinking the other day, wouldn’t it be great if on Instagram had to (or voluntarily) uploaded the “before” photo and the after? I’m sure it would be shocking to see how much is done to “perfect” images and bodies. I recently discovered that a lot of photographers put in a bunch of birds into shots to make them more dramatic. I was like “even the birds aren’t real anymore?!” haha, great post anyway 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. I guess birds aren’t real anymore! That is a scary thought.
      I would honestly love that on Instagram because it is definitely one of those social platforms that allow people to start creating a perception of themselves that is not nearly as beautiful as what they look like in real life. I would welcome that change in a heartbeat because I think living our best lives is more important than how many likes we get on our photos.

      thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts with me!


  2. I think the law implemented by the French government should be a example other countries should follow because it sends a positive message about its society and how people should not feel envious but rather love themselves regardless of age, shape, colour or looks! I think social media is increasingly becoming another source for people to feel insecure about themselves when they look at celebrities or online influencers. It does not register that those celebrities are paid to look that way or advertise that product. I feel Kim Kardashian sets a good example (for once) in always putting a hashtag that it is an ad whenever she post a sponsored post. Little things like that will make people realise that not all what they see is the truth and there will be greater awareness on their part. Marketers need to display greater transparency!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved your comment all the through until I saw Kim Kardashian and was immediately offended. DID YOU KNOW? That all the Kardashians get paid to do sponsored ads and it wasn’t until recently due to fans backlash that they all started using the #ad to differentiate between their own content and sponsored stuff.
      DID YOU KNOW? That Kim Kardashian literally edits all her photos and her PR teams scourers the internet to find old photos of her that are unflattering and buys the rights to them.

      If anything the Kardashians are the reasons why so many young girls we see nowadays are feeling like they have to look some type of way.

      But I agree. Australia needs to do more and as digital marketers, I think there is a sense of honesty we always have to practice when doing our jobs.


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