Altered Realities Bad for Human Health?

photoshopped-jessica-alba1-before-and-after

I came across an article on Reuters the other day detailing the French government’s proposal of a law that would require all digitally modified images  to come with a warning stamp/disclaimer stating: “Photograph retouched to modify the physical appearance of a person.” Valerie Boyer, French parliamentarian, alongside some 50 other politicians, proposed the law to fight what they see as a warped image of women’s bodies in the media & popular culture. Boyer stated, “These images can make people believe in a reality that often does not exist.” They believe that these “false realities” could lead to various kinds of psychological disorders, most prominently eating disorders within young women.

What’s interesting is that this law would apply not only to the glossy spreads of fashion mags, but all press photographs, political campaigns, images on packaging, advertising, even art photographs. More before/after digital photoshopping after the jump. I wonder in the Renaissance if people were upset that fair duchesses and dukes were painted with a smokey-sfumato to hide their big noses….at any rate, this holds some strange implications as far as how we view photography as some sort of implement of “truth”– seems to me gone are the days the photograph will be considered as any sort of factual record…

What do you guys think? Regulating altered realities good, or detrimental to creative expression….? (Also, is it me or is there something strangely visually satisfying about these photos…)

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