Friday, August 8, 2014

Don't You DARE Touch Me!

The Real You Is Sexy. No Retouching on These Girls.
On MSNBC's "The Cycle: yesterday, the show’s young hipster crowd was talking about the anti-photo-retouching movement that’s calling for magazines and advertisers to stop photoshopping models. In particular, the cyclists were talking about a National Journal  article titled “the Great Photoshop Crusade.”

In the article, ex-advertising executive Seth Matlins speaks out against the trend of many years to change the female body in print. “In my estimation, [Photoshopping to enhance breasts, slim stomachs, define cheekbones, erase skin perfections] is as big a public health crisis as anything we have faced as a country," he says. "And there are people who think I'm being hyperbolic, but I think the data makes it absolutely clear. ... This is an issue that has affected, and I'd argue, infected, generations of Americans—and promises to continue to affect generations more, unless we do something."
According to the National Journal article, in 2013 former ad executive Matlins, decided to advocate for a bill in Congress. He teamed up with various groups, including the Eating Disorders Coalition, to get a bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Lois Capps of California and Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. He has been commuting between L.A. and D.C. to build support for the bill. In April, Matlins and others went to Capitol Hill to hold a briefing on the bill, and in June they returned to present Capps and Ros-Lehtinen with a petition signed by 28,000 peoplebacking the legislation. Since then, the petition has reached 35,000 signatures. The bill has also picked up Democrat Ted Deutch of Florida as a cosponsor.

It looks like the no-touch photo movement is spreading. This morning, I received an email from Aerie, retailer of bras, undies, clothing. At the bottom of the pitch, #aerie zeroes in on a young gal in a pair of undies and then makes this announcement: “The Real You Is Sexy. No Retouching on These Girls.”

Whatever the outcome of Matlin’s legislative efforts, this movement will have impact.

It would seem wise for marketers to touch base now with this no-retouch point of view.

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