Retailers have a moral obligation to ban the airbrush

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The airbrush backlash is now well underway as Debenhams announces a ban on all retouched lingerie model shots.

The high-street department store puts and end to such images as they ‘want to help customers feel confident about their figures without bombarding them with unattainable body images’.

via Mail Online.

There Are 7 Comments On This Article.

  1. Through all this retoucher-bashing media/societal backlash that’s been going on,
    (ex: )
    there’s an important question few have been asking…
    Would the same product in the same market really sell as well with the same advertising, but unretouched?
    I mean these companies haven’t changed their policies quietly for a reason, the policy-change itself IS the advertising.
    If you didn’t retouch your brand’s images, would people really respond to them more favorably without being fed a morally favorable explanation as to why they look unfinished?
    I don’t think anyone is advocating for alien-thin caricatures of women in advertising, Those horrendous examples are very uncommon and are indeed the work of someone who has lost touch with reality. But does anyone, consumer or retailer, honestly believe that a person, who;
    confronted with 2 brands selling similar products with similar advertising, with one brand displaying retouched images, and the other unretouched;
    would choose to buy the stuff advertised by unretouched imagery?
    I’m just sayin, if the art director, model agency, retoucher, photographer, and freakin caterer is to blame, then the consumer should share that blame as well because it’s all for them.

  2. being a big fan of “stop the airbrush carpet bombing” – in its most extreme cases known as “art directors job justification scheme” – i found that debenhams announced the same thing three years ago for their swimsuit images:–lays-bare-sneaky-tricks-trade.html
    the public needs to be reminded that advertising is often selling an impossible dream. mind my wording: impossible, which is far away from assembling a team of professionals to enhance the experience.

  3. It’s just one marketing ploy – “let consumers feel better about their bathroom mirrors” – versus another – “let consumers identify with perfected images”. Nothing deep or existential about it.


    Richard Avedon said “all photographs are accurate, none of them the truth” and truer words have never been spoken. Cameras are tools that photographers use to tell a story, and if the image rendered does not tell the desired story then it is incumbent upon the purveyors of the story to use other tools. Avedon’s “boss” Alexander Lieberman defined great fashion photographs as those in which woman project themselves into, it’s who they WANT TO BE, not WHO THEY ARE.

    A fashion advertiser’s job is to sell nympholeptic fantasy. A spontaneous desire for something ultimately unattainable. The time that Progressive Politically Correct PINHEADS and journalistic “purists” spend trying to turn their faux outrage into Statist control is better spent watching Dove Soap commercials, which are just as manipulative as any other fashion ad, but take the whole “I’m not worthy” neurosis and turn it into revenue.

    Fashion is the statement of an opinion. Some will agree and some will disagree, but to say that manipulation of images is legally “wrong” is just plain-old anti-free-speech tyranny.

    Gary Indiana of the Village Voice once said “if it’s written, it’s fiction” and I believe that we would all be better served if we all assumed that any word or image is some kind of interpretive manipulation, but I would NEVER legislate that. People should be free to be the fools that they wish to be, an no Government will fix that… It’s the human condition!

    I don’t want Big Brother to protect me from Photoshop, that’s God or Charles Darwin’s job.

  5. scott Rex Ely

    It’s just another infectious lie just like the insurance ads for retirement. Look Honey, those fake retirees are on a beach with no one else, again.
    Plastic is still the rage.

  6. It’s not even all that prevalent now, but people behind any cause have to exaggerate to rally support (have to polarize to mobilize). If anything, high end fashion at least has gone maybe too far the other way with gritty realism. But pick up any fashion magazine and you’ll see every moth the whole spectrum–from overly retouched beauty shots to girls with crazy messed up hair and food on their face.