by Gerry Mak in New Trends on Monday 28 September 2009

The big media news of the past few days has been the proposal by fifty French lawmakers that would require all altered images be labeled with a disclaimer that they have been digitally enhanced.

Personally, I think such a label is insulting the intelligence of the general public and it would probably do little to curb eating disorders – how many times were you scared out of your wits by a horror flick as a kid despite your parents assuring you that it was only a movie? Have you seen some of those booty magazines on the newstands? No matter how obvious the shop-job, people still lust after those images. Ideal beauty (and really any idealized trait) has always been unrealistic, and people have always gussied images of themselves up be it with paint, make-up, lighting, or Photoshop. This law is too mired in the conceit that photographs represent reality, which most of us rationally know is bullshit. Would a movie such as 300 also warrant such a disclaimer, reassuring men that those chiseled abs are fake? To me, there are deeper issues to address when it comes to our collective insecurities and our reality, and this measure is merely an empty gesture by politicians.