It's Now Illegal to Sneakily Photoshop Models in French Ads

It’s been eight years in the making but France has officially passed a law that will help improve harmful images in advertising. According to WWD, the latest law mandates that brands will have to be totally transparent about retouching images in its campaigns. It’s a move that’s beneficial for fashion lovers and body positivity crusaders alike.

As WWD reports, as of October 1, 2017, any modified photograph used for a campaign must include the words “photographie retouchée” (or “retouched photo” in French) in order to let the public know when a person’s appearance has been altered. While you may already agree that fashion, in general, needs more diversity when it comes to body size and shape, this law will hopefully begin to empower the public to know when an image has been changed to portray a truly unrealistic standard of beauty.

Furthermore, in a statement released today, Marisol Touraine, France’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health, expressed the importance of this regulation for those most impressionable: “Exposing young people to normative and unrealistic images of bodies leads to a sense of self-depreciation and poor self-esteem that can impact health-related behavior.”

Over the past several years, we’ve celebrated brands that have already made a commitment to staying Photoshop-free, including Aerie, Target, and Lonely. But France’s legal actions set a pretty impressive standard of transparency for us all.

Next up: See how fashion campaigns did when it came to representing diversity for spring 2017.