Getty Images is the leading resource for photos of celebs, stock photos, and vintage pics anywhere in the world. The company owns 800 million still photographs and another 50,000 hours of stock film, which is why it’s the go-to for magazines, newspapers, and other media companies (like ours) when they need pics. Getty’s images influence the way we see the world, no question about it — which is why company’s announcement that they will be banning digitally retouched photos of women’s bodies is a very big deal.
As of October 1, Getty will ban any images that have used retouching tools to make models look thinner or larger. The Verge reports that Getty’s decision is in line with many recent changes to laws in Europe — and a French law in particular — that forces magazines to report to what extent the images in their magazines have been retouched.
While digital retouching has become standard in fashion and celeb magazines over the last few years, a number of recent studies have concluded that use of digital tools like Photoshop can have a negative effect on women — teens especially — and that even if we don’t think we’re influenced by advertising as a whole, a constant barrage of images can have long-term impacts on how we perceive ourselves.
With diseases like anorexia and bulimia being two of the most common mental health issues of teens, and their direct connection to overuse of Photoshop affecting girl’s self image, Getty getting on board with France’s hard line on over use of the design tool is a massive step in the right direction for healthy body image and self esteem in everyone.
With Getty clarifying that their ban does not include reducing spots, changing hair or eye color, or removing wrinkles, the ban is only addressing part of the dangers of Photoshop in media. As The Verge also points out, many celebrity women of color, like Lupita Nyong’o, Kerry Washington, and others admit to having seen themselves lightened by the retouching tool, and many small-chested actresses have admitted their busts have been enhanced by digital wizards.
For their part, Getty is extending the ban on physical changes across all their platforms, including iStock (which is where most advertising stock images come from), which means that we’ll see the trickle down of their announcement everywhere: advertising, magazines, the internet, anywhere a photo might end up.
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(Photo via Getty)