Has Airbrushing Gone Too Far?

Digital Barbie-fication of women called unhealthy trend
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2008 4:57 PM CDT
Women's health campaigners have called for magazines to stop retouching photographs of models.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Shutterbugs have long altered pics, but now critics are cringing over the effects of airbrushing on young girls. French lawmakers have even approved a law against inciting "excessive thinness." But would such a move work in America? Maybe not, "but there are a whole lot of impressionable young kids" who are tortured by images of slimmed-down and retouched women, Jessica Bennett writes in Newsweek.

Numbers tell the tale: An average US girl sees 77,000 ads by age 12, and has an 81% chance of fearing fat by age 10. Even Photoshoppers can be appalled by it: "We're always stretching the models' legs and slimming their thighs," one said. "Sometimes I feel a little like Frankenstein." But Elizabeth Hurley and others in the biz love a touch-up or two. "You have to accept that fashion is fantasy," one photographer said. "It's wearable art." (Read more beauty stories.)