Israel Has A New Law That Is Now In Effect: “The Photoshop Law”

Israel Has A New Law That Is Now In Effect: “The Photoshop Law”

Consistently, issues with digitally altered photos have appeared in the media. In specific, the way they affect younger women by what they see in images, whether in magazines or elsewhere. Now, Israel has taken proactive steps. 

They now have a new law in effect, “The Photoshop Law.”

"As of January 1, models who want to work in print ads and runway shows in Israel must provide potential employers with medical proof certifying that they have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 18.5. The new law is nicknamed "the Photoshop law" because of an additional regulation placed on advertisers requiring clear labeling on ads featuring digitally-altered images of models."

So it's essentially taking out two birds with one stone, guaranteeing that models must be of a healthy BMI (healthy is relative, of course), and that images in the media must be clearly labeled if they have been retouched or modified.

Even as a retoucher, I do not mind this. It doesn't say that no images can be retouched but it does require labeling them so people are well aware.

So why now?

"The numbers of Israeli women and girls suffering from eating disorders now match those of industrialized Western countries, but the problem went largely unacknowledged until the 2007 death of a well-known Israeli model."

The only downside here is that all advertisements shot abroad (not domestically) do not need to be labeled yet.

I wanted to ask our readers, do you feel this is a step in the right direction? Would you like to see something like this happen to other countries around the world?

[Via Jesse Grubbs via Big Think]

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Erwin Zavala's picture

Of course! Retouchers deserve credit too!

Should be done in more countries. Props to them!

It doesn't matter. People in developed countries with access to TV or Internet are well aware of Photoshop.  

But how do you define "retouched"... Fixing white balance is already retouching....

White Balance is part of "post production". Post Production and Retouching/Editing are related parts of  workflow.

White balance is typically done in-camera while acquiring the images.  Color balance can be adjusted in post, but in general, a skilled photographer will try to capture the best "proper" image first and that includes white balancing in camera.  

But yes, it is too broad of a statement to suggest that every image that is manipulated be labeled.  The act of taking photographs is altering "reality" from the get-go with the choice of lens, aperture, color balance, shutter speed, focus, framing, lighting...  Not to mention how wardrobe, makeup, and hair styling all alter what a model truly looks like.  

So singling out post-production changes to "reality" is a bit silly if the goal is to somehow present "reality." 

of course YES. retouchers will also get some credit.

Michael Wessel's picture

It's kind of sad that this has to be a law enacted by a government rather than a common sense edict by the industry. The lengths that some of the women have to go through in order to be considered 'thin' is insane.

Why everyone is talking from the retoucher point of view wich is not the preminent part of the story, but only a side effect... Citizen of the western world may be aware of the power of a retouched/post producted pictures, but STILL

Thousend too many are suffering from eating disorder, and even guys are following the image model of a "perfect" body that in reality does NOT exist~!

So I want to say, that of course this is a step on the right direction, and should be forced all around the world, so that people and most important tennagers are going to be more aware of what´s real.
Even more important is going to be the law that enforced model to be of a certain body mass, since it would prevent those people to be used as a rolemode~! And ensure a healtier life to those working on the business...

Jenn Zeller's picture

We can't all be model thin and it's unrealistic to believe that, so I think it's great!

Finally a government has had the gumption to do this, I hope this spreads to other countries

There ARE many people out there, men and women, who DO work very hard and are disciplined enough to build and maintain a healthy and attractive body.  To claim that these people are "fake" is insulting to them and the idea of living a health lifestyle. That MORE people want to be lazy and stuff their mouths with garbage passing as food does not make them more "real."  It just means there are more of them.
We should be advertising MORE healthy bodies instead of pretending that those who work hard are "fake" while fat unhealthy people are "realistic."  It does a disservice to everyone.

When you blow something up to the size of billboard or at least 9 ft tall and 6 ft wide you are going to see everything on that persons face. It is probably a good idea to retouch even if there is a law. I think that it might just make things worse as the standards for models specific in those areas will have to meet a high criteria to make it in. Good thing it isn't here yet as we have to work with what we get in many situations. 

George Socka's picture

What a steaming pile. Blame eating disorders on photoshop? ROTFLMAO What next? Stop CNN from using the skin detail setting on their video cameras becasue the women look to perfect?Stop Lance Armstrong from doping because peopel give up bike riding since they aren'y as fast as him? And they fall off their bikes in traffic? Well maybe the last one would be OK. Stop using spell check because it makes my work look perfect? or NOT?

I think this is great.

Finally someone did somthing about this. I'm not against photoshoping a photo of a model to perfection, but people have to know it was done by manipulation. We cannot assume that people will know it was photoshoped. I hope this spreads out to the entire industrie.