Tim Longhurst's Blog

Model behaviour for media industry

January 22nd, 2006 · No Comments

beautymagazine.jpgThere are a few TV shows at the moment that explore the ‘cosmetic surgery’ industry. In Australia, media reports indicate that ‘nips’ and ‘tucks’ are increasingly being given as gifts.

Given that people often use media images to inspire their ‘moments with the scalpal’, maybe it’s time we turned the scalpal on media images.

Most advertising agencies and media companies ‘enhance’ the look of people using software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Sure, many of us are aware that airbrushing and image tweaking is a standard practice in the media. We might hear someone mention airbrusing once or twice a year. But the frequency with which we see manipulated images on billboards and magazines is far greater than once or twice a year.

Enhanced images should be labelled as such.

Such a move would almost certainly have a postive impact on self-image. This could mean lowering incidences of mental illness, eating disorders and beauty magazine sales. All positive things.

I propose panels be added to magazines and billboards that declare any modifications made to images of people.

Something like this:


In this way, instead of getting surgery, we can join together to laugh at the plastic impossipeople used in the media. Laughing is great for your self-esteem and involves few stitches.

The Swedish government has recently commissioned this website to demonstrate some of the ways mass media images are manipulated. Until the panels arrive on the pages of magazines and in the corners of magazines, we need to remind ourselves (and each other) that impossipeople aren’t real. They’re just figments of art directors’ imaginations.

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Category: Communication and connection

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