Anti-airbrushing campaign gets body image experts' backing

BODY image experts are supporting a Liberal Democrat campaign against the use of airbrushed images of models.

More than 40 academics are backing the report, The Impact of Media Images on Body Image and Behaviours: A Summary of the Scientific Evidence.

Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire, launched the Real Women campaign in August to "inject some realism" into media images.

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It wants the use of airbrushing to be banned from adverts aimed at the under-16s.

As part of the campaign she complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about a magazine advert featuring Twiggy promoting Olay Definity Eye Illuminator.

The ASA yesterday confirmed it is investigating claims that the advert implied that Twiggy's appearance was purely down to the product rather than due to photographic post production, and that the advert would have a negative impact on women's perspective of their own bodies.

The experts' report said: "Media images that depict ultra-thin, digitally-altered women models are linked to body dissatisfaction and unhealthy eating in girls and women."

An ASA spokesman said only five of the 26,000 complaints it received last year related to airbrushing.