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French Deputies Want Labels On Photo-Altered Models 512

Psychophrenes writes "A number of French deputies are proposing to pass a law requiring all published photos that were modified by means of an image manipulation program to include a statement indicating that 'the photo was altered in order to modify the appearance of a person.' This indication is to be mandatory on all ads, packaging images, political posters and even art photos, and is considered a matter of public health, aimed at fighting anorexia." The related article is in French, but Google Translate does a pretty good job.
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French Deputies Moving Against Photoshopped Ads

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  • by Fantom42 ( 174630 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:01AM (#29504189)

    Those kinds of modifications shouldn't and likely wouldn't be covered by the provision. There is already a pretty well-established metric by which photojournalists follow. It can be summed up in this statement, "Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images' content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects."

    Cropping and white balance adjustments are considered ok. Adjusting lighting, posing, or other things are not considered ok, although most people consider it ok as long as the context is obvious (e.g., a portrait for someone's profile or similar). Adjusting the face, removing/adding hair is not ok.

  • Re:Awesome! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:15AM (#29504419)

    Right-on, France!

    I don't know if such a law can even work, but just the fact that this kind of thing is even being considered is really cool.

    My fellow male geeks don't truly get what girls go through and what a mind-job it does on them. But there IS one example which might resonate. . .

    Remember when all those new Star Wars toys came out, and all the characters you once identified with were now PuMpEd up? I know it affected me in a negative way, and I thought I was fairly impervious to such things. I found it surprising and illuminating.

    Advertising and media stereotypes fuck you in the head. Remember: Body hair was at one time not considered ugly on a woman. It wasn't until quite recently that this changed when a razor-blade company decided to start equating dirtiness with body-hair on women. Doubled the number of customers for its product. This was only a century or two ago.

    Fuck advertising. Rock-on France! If it wasn't for Sarkozy and the creep of evil, France would be the true hero of the world.


    Hey, Why should I care about women's problems? I have been harassed, ostracised, and just plainly humiliated by women most of my life. First because of my weight, after that because of my hobbies, after that because of my Msc in applied mathematics. I just don't give a damn about women's problems anymore. Let one female come forward and tell her sisters that I deserve some basic human respect, then I will join the fight. Until then, women reap the fruits of what they have sown. Regarding the question of female body hair. I have personally witnessed young women bragging to their female friends about dumping boyfriends, because the men in question had hair growing on their toes.

    To sum it up. There is absolutely no sympathy for any female appearance anxieties coming from me, until one single female actually steps up and tells her sisters that I have the right to be respected as a basic human being.

  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:22AM (#29504529) Journal

    That reminds me of a scene in one of my favorite movies [imdb.com]. Michael Douglas takes a fast food joint hostage because the burger doesn't look like the picture ;)

    "Turn around. Look at that picture. It's big, it's juicy, it's three inches thick. Now look at this sorry sad squashed thing. What's wrong here? Can anybody tell me? Anybody at all?"

  • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:25AM (#29504567) Homepage Journal

    the whole scary skinny trend in high fashion is created by, and perpetuated by, and invested in, by women, not men.

    Well, maybe gay men. They do dominate the world of high fashion.

  • by Ironica ( 124657 ) <pixel.boondock@org> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:34AM (#29504717) Journal

    Clearly, the problem isn't with the idea, but with the label: it should say which thing contains carcinogens so that you can avoid the problem.

    Yes, it should explain that the AIR in the hotel and its parking garage contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer.

    All parking garages have the Prop 65 warning, because they're all full of car exhaust. Almost all hotels have them, because they use carcinogenic pesticides.

    As it turns out, the labels are accurate, and what you need to avoid is the ENTIRE BUILDING if you don't want to be exposed to carcinogens. OTOH, if you go outside, that's the smoking section...

  • by Quothz ( 683368 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:49AM (#29504955) Journal

    I remember at least one instance in the last 20 years where an American politician used a picture of his opponent and the ad mad the opponent look much lighter or darker than he looks in person in normal room light. There was some backlash charging the campaign with race-baiting or something like that.

    You may be thinking of the Time O.J. cover, although that of course wasn't a political campaign. Time darkened O.J.'s mug shot to make him look darker, unshaven, and generally more sinister.

  • by qoncept ( 599709 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:01PM (#29505135) Homepage
    Hence, common sense. Take 100 pictures with 100 different regular ol' cameras and you'll have 100 slightly different pictures. Use Photoshop to pinch in someone's waist in one of those and you'll have one photo that is relevent to the topic.
  • Re:Food styling (Score:5, Informative)

    by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionary.yahoo@com> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:08PM (#29505227) Journal

    Not just ordinarily inedible. Burgers in photographs aren't cooked all the way, instead being browned with a blowtorch. They have cardboard supports inside them, extra sesame seeds glued on with hot glue, glycerin and hairspray added for that extra juicy look, and the whole thing is held together with pins. Yum.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:11PM (#29505273)
    I was thinking about this the other day... biologically, men are attracted to women that are healthy and capable of bearing, nursing, and bringing up children. We're programmed that way, in the interest of propagation of the species. It is not clear to me why any male would want to hook up with a girl that looks unhealthy, e.g. a "Heroin-chic" model, a pale, fragile goth, or a crack whore look should be a clear signal "not a good place to invest the future of your genetics". Of course, men are also programmed to broadcast their genetic material as widely as possible, but I cannot image a sickly looking woman would be their first choice.

    Personally, I am attracted to toned muscles, the suggestion of a curve between waist and hips, and "average" C-cup breasts (past a certain point, bigger is not better!) In fact, I believe the real standard of beauty is symmetry combined with really average features and proportions. This is why mixtures of different races are frequently very sexy, while inbred populations (which accentuate certain features) are not.
  • by dontmakemethink ( 1186169 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:37PM (#29505607)

    except the women in men's magazines are usually well-proportioned in the t&a department [...] the whole scary skinny trend in high fashion is created by, and perpetuated by, and invested in, by women, not men.

    I hope you're not implying that Playboy models don't diet and exercise religiously, augment themselves surgically, and still their pictures are photoshopped. Women see men respond more to anything resembling that sculpted T&A form, but to women that look is slutty. Playboy minus slutty == stick figure. Chubby is not an option. There are no plump female celebrities that are not routinely ridiculed in everything from comedy shows to tabloids, and virtually always by men.

  • by firewrought ( 36952 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:15PM (#29506117)

    Men prefer women who are heck of a lot more well-fed than what women see as an ideal http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Willendorf [wikipedia.org]

    The last paper I saw on it was that the Venus of Willendorf was most likely the result of a female trying to depict herself while pregnant. The artist gazed down at her own torso/belly and transferred the skewed proportions to the statue. They photographed both a model and the statue from this perspective to show the similarities. (I would hunt for the link, but it's probably NSFW given the use of nude model.)

  • by Grim Beefer ( 946632 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @05:20PM (#29509035)
    Digital manipulation using Photoshop and the like is nothing like the studio effects you mention.

    Whether you want to admit it or not, you're talking about environmental changes to the subject - lighting, color cast, exposure, etc.., not physical changes. You're not grasping the difference between an illusion, such as painting a room white to make it appear larger, and physical manipulation, such as moving your walls five feet out to increase your square footage.

    Everyone expects that a good photographer will capture their subjects in the best light and color, along with manipulating the subject matter to get the best possible facial expression, etc. These are the basic elements of portrait photography, and have been for a long time. It's still a far cry from going in and giving your subject a digital nose job, increasing their bust size, slimming their waist and thighs, and stretching their torso. No amount of bounce lighting is going to achieve those things.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama