Photoshopped images to have compulsory warning labels in France

Photoshopped images to have compulsory warning labels in France
Photo credit: Reuters

The French government is implementing a new law on advertisers - digitally-altered images that make models look thinner must now include a warning label.

According to France's health ministry, about 600,000 people suffer from anorexia and other eating disorders. The law is coming into effect on Monday to tackle just that. 

While altering images is a common practice in fashion photography, it's been seen as a public health issue in France.

After Monday, any publication that digitally edits or airbrushes a commercial image without a clearly labelled "photographie retouchee [retouched photograph]", will be subject to a fine. This sits at either €37,500 (NZ$61,881), or 30 percent of the cost of creating the advertisement.

The former health minister who introduced the legislation, Marisol Touraine, says it's intended "to avoid promoting inaccessible ideals of beauty and to prevent anorexia among young people".

She believes exposing young people to "normative and unrealistic body images" leads to a feeling of self-deprecation and poor self-esteem "that can have an impact on health-related behaviour".

Authorities are hoping this new "Photoshop warning" will discourage the idolisation of unrealistic body shapes and unhealthy eating patterns.