France recently passed a law requiring the disclaimer “Photographie retouchée,” which indicates a person’s body has been digitally altered next to any photo being used for commercial purposes; This does not include the retouching of hair or the editing of blemishes.
Those who don’t abide by this new law can be fined up to €37,500 ($43,500) which is 30% of the cost it takes to create the ad itself and can be subject to six months in prison.
Following this new law, Getty Images followed suit by issuing a new guideline, banning any submission of “creative content depicting models whose body shapes have been retouched to make them look thinner or larger.”
Additionally, during the start of the 2017 Fall Fashion Week which kicked off in New York, LVMH and Kering- two French luxury conglomerates who own high fashion brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent and Vuitton et Dior, announced they will stop using size zero models.
Although these are huge steps, it’s not the first time France has introduced such regulations. In 2015, the French government passed a law that required all working models in France to provide a doctor’s note certifying their Body Mass Index (BMI) is at a healthy number in efforts to prevent “the use of excessively thin models.”
Spain, Israel, and Italy all introduced similar laws banning agencies from employing models with a BMI under 18-18.5, yet according to AFP, eating disorders are currently the second most common cause of death of 15-24 year olds in France following road accidents.
USC senior Alex Gas, who was born and raised in Paris admits that she believes advertisements are mainly to blame for the "unhealthy relationship people have with food," especially in France. "It's great that the [fashion industry] is trying to be body positive, but they still come from a society with a lot of skinny women, there's not really a culture of obesity."
The fashion industry has long been under scrutiny for their use of extremely thin models and digitally altering their faces and bodies, further contributing to an unrealistic portrayal of physical beauty which has likely led to continued prevalence in eating disorders.
Just recently, 26-year-old actress and model Emily Ratajowski recently took to her Instagram of over 15 million followers to lash out at French magazine Madame Figarom, which photoshopped her cover photo by altering her breasts and lips.
Past celebrities who have spoken out against the editing of their original photos include Zendaya, Lady Gaga, Keira Knightley and Lorde.