American Medical Association to Crack Down on Photoshopping in Magazines

Have you ever looked at a picture of a model in a magazine and thought “There is no way she actually looks like that?”

Well, you were probably right. Advertisers and magazine editors are pretty fond of retouching photos until they don’t even resemble the original photo taken. I mean, geeze, Katy Perry was Photoshopped to Hell and back (including giving her a boob lift) on the cover of Rolling Stone…and she’s been voted to the top of how many “Hottest” lists?

Well, cover Photoshopping may be here to stay, for now, but the American Medical Association (AMA) is openly cracking down on the alteration of images in advertisements.

But why the AMA? Why not someone who actually deals with advertising? Well, because there’s a really nasty side-effect to all that cutting, pasting, lasso-ing and what-not. As the AMA said in their statement A large body of literature links exposure to media-propagated images of unrealistic body image to eating disorders and other child and adolescent health problems.”

How many problems? Well, a statistic I’ve mentioned before is that a study found that 53% of thirteen-year-old American girls are unhappy with their bodies…that number increases to 78% by the time they hit seventeen.

But recently, I managed to find a statistic that’s even MORE depressing: a study done by the University of Central Florida found that almost half of girls between the ages of 3 and 6 were worried about being fat. That stat came from a Good Morning America report on a healthy 6-year-old girl in Texas who was called fat by classmates and has now become convinced she’s overweight. You can view that video as well as an equally depressing video of a panel of young girls talking about body weight over at Jezebel.

Obviously, these steps won’t end eating disorders or negative body perception. That would require an entire social overhaul and changing ideals that are socially ingrained in us from birth. BUT, if there is a link between things like this horrible Ralph Lauren ad (which was referred to in the AMA report) and increasingly younger women dieting and obsessing over body image, I can’t say I disagree with taking a harder look at it. As the AMA’s Dr. McArney said “We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software.”

And hey, if it eliminates bad photoshop like this, I’m certainly not going to argue with it!

What do you guys think of the AMA’s decision?