New French Law Requires Airbrushed or Photoshopped Images to Be Labeled

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

In 2009, France’s lawmakers proposed that images in which a model has been photoshopped be labeled. Now, in 2017, that law is going into effect.


France 24 reports that as of October first, anyone who publishes a photo in which Photoshop is used to “either slim or flesh out” a model’s body without labeling will be subject to a €37,500 fine. This is paired with a law that went on the books in May, which requires models to present a medical certificate from a doctor attesting to their health, in particular their Body Mass Index. Both laws were approved in January 2016.

According to the BBC, the Photoshop rule does not apply to blemishes being removed, nor hair retouching, so there are still various flaws we’ll stop believing exist on other women. Though the idea of banning “excessively thin” models from runways or retouched images was initially mocked, France is treating it as a public health issue:

“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 behaviour,” Health Minister Marisol Touraine said.


The decision is reminiscent of the UK government recently banning ads that perpetuate gender stereotypes, showing the possible influence legislators can have on advertising. France has also taken steps against “pro-anorexia” websites, passing a law in 2015 that can punish someone advocating for eating disorders with up to a year in jail and a €10,000 fine.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin


Diglett Dig Yourself

Does anyone know if this applies to things like smoothing out protruding bones on thin models? I don’t really have an issue with taking out blemishes or stray strands of hair, but I saw an article recently about how many magazines are not changing the size of models, but smoothing the skin over ribs and collar bones to make them appear less gaunt: