Models around the world fed up with unrealistic beauty standards have thrown their support behind a push for companies to confess when they doctor images used in advertising campaigns.
New Zealand model Jessica Quinn, who will participate in Melbourne Fashion Week, started a petition demanding more transparency after she discovered photos of her taken for the 2018 March edition of Australian Women’s Weekly magazine had been retouched without her knowledge.
“I just said, ‘Enough was enough’,” Quinn told The New Daily.
“People say they’re not affected by the media but we see it everywhere – images on billboards, magazines, standing in line at the grocery store.
“What we’re looking at is unrealistic and it’s affecting us all the time.”
After losing her leg to cancer at just nine years old, Quinn said she was forced to overcome her own body image insecurities early on in life.
“I couldn’t hide away from my insecurities as a teenager and it really gave me some perspective,” Quinn said.
“I learned I could still be beautiful and have a disability, and I’m grateful I went through that because I had to learn those things.”
Now Quinn wants New Zealand’s parliament to pass new laws to force brands, advertising companies and the media to own up to altering the appearance of models in photographs.
The idea is gaining traction among models eager to expose that the images of them displayed in the media are often far from reality.
British actress and model Jameela Jamil drew worldwide attention to Quinn’s petition when she voiced her support for it on Instagram.
A passionate advocate for women, The Good Place star started her own social media campaign ‘I Weigh’ in an effort to combat body shaming and harmful beauty expectations.
Laura Henshaw, Australian model and co-founder of fitness program Keep it Cleaner, has also backed the move.
“I remember once an image of me was heavily edited by a client and it made me think that the way I looked wasn’t good enough,” Henshaw told The New Daily.
“It took a long time for me to work through and overcome this in myself.”
The social media influencer said she felt a “personal responsibility” to reduce the amount of pressure on young people to be perfect in all aspects of their lives.
“Retouched imagery can be misleading to impressionable and vulnerable young women and men; and set them really unrealistic expectations,” Henshaw said.
“By doing something as simple as disclosing the retouching, a huge amount of unnecessary pressure could be taken off those who view the advertisements.”