American Medical Association Questions the Effect Photoshopped Ads May Have on Teens

Advertising & Marketing / Fashion / June 30, 2011

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Photoshop Controversy: 2009 Ralph Lauren Advertisement

It’s no secret that retouching photos is a huge part of the fashion industry.

Models and celebrities are photographed to sell brands, products and lifestyles, and so it’s in the best interest for companies to make sure that the people in their ads are people who potential customers will want to emulate.

However, the American Medical Association (AMA)  is now questioning whether photoshopping these ads and photos is in the best interest for the public

The AMA has adopted a new policy that encourages ad agencies to think about impressionable kids and teens who might be negatively impacted by thinking that the idealized images they see in magazines and on billboards represent attainable and desirable body proportions.

Even if viewers are aware that photos are photoshopped, it doesn’t change the fact that these over-edited images promote impossible standards of beauty and associate them with beloved brands.

Some retouching of photos is a necessary part of advertising, but we think it’s great that there is more pressure on ad agencies to avoid taking Photoshop’s magic wand too far and making half a woman’s body disappear a la the tech wizards behind Ralph Lauren’s publicized Photoshop fail.

Enhancing photos digitally is a wonderful capability so long as the technology doesn’t override the natural beauty of the photographed form.


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Stacey Nicole




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