Why The Government Shouldn’t Regulate Photoshopping

 

A recent post by the show Julie Mastrine responded to a post by Miss Representation’s account on Facebook. Miss Representation is a documentary about the portrayal of women in media. It’s a valuable film with many insights, but it falls into the error that much of liberal feminism does, which is to call on government regulation as a solution. Their Facebook post was a link to Change.org, petitioning the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “to develop a regulatory framework for ads that materially change the faces and bodies of the people in them, in order to reduce the damage this type of advertising does to our children.”

I responded with a few comments, and many other libertarian feminists did as well.

laurie rice photoshopping

laurie rice photoshopping 2

Julie Mastrine did a longer write up on her own blog, with screenshots of my comments and others.

 

Julie Mastrine

Women’s representation in media matters. Study after study   has linked narrow beauty standards with low self-esteem, eating disorders, and general body-hatred among women. Women are tired of seeing themselves portrayed in a narrow way — light-skinned, thin, blonde, blue-eyed, big boobs, etc. But is government legislation the solution to create more representative media images? Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 2.34.44 PM

That’s the question raised by a newChange.org petition, which asks people to sign in support of The Truth in Advertising Act, or H.R.4341. The act is not very detailed, but in short, it would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create a regulatory framework to reduce the use of altered photos in advertising and “to submit to Congress a report on the use, in advertising and other media for the promotion of commercial products, of images that have been altered to materially change the physical characteristics of the faces and bodies of the individuals depicted.”

This legislation…

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