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The Airbrushing Debate

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A debate that has long been rife between the fashion industry, media industry and the public, is the debate of airbrushing; the technique used to alter images to improve their appearance, usually within ad campaigns.


Recently the Liberal Democrats launched a campaign to ban airbrushing in advertisements aimed at children under 16 years, in order to tackle "body image pressure". Which kick started the debate once again.


The argument against the airbrushing of ad images and images of models, is these images of ultra perfect, digitally altered models are linked to a cause of body dissatisfaction and unhealthy eating in girls and women. It also gives an unrealistic impression of how products/garments look, which can lead to disappoint people if they go to purchase the product. Some people also argue changing how things really are is the same as lying or false advertising which is wrong.


The argument for the use of airbrushing comes from within the media industry, where as a result of airbrushing and photoshopping, products/garments etc are deemed to look more desirable.. Some celebrities and models are against a ban as sometimes they are unhappy with how they look in a picture, with airbrushing being used to make them feel better. Whilst many industry experts consider the changing of images is an art form, that should be appreciated.


As part of the ongoing debate I was recently asked to voice my own opinions on the issue, with journalist masters student Katie Barr, who was conducting a investigation around the airbrushing debate. To read the finished article that includes interviews with Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat MP and the National Centre for Eating Disorders, please download the following pdf.

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