Photo: Courtesy of Photoshop Disasters.
Seth Matlins, a former chief marketing officer, might be an unlikely leader for the fight against Photoshopped images. "My house was built on advertising, my kids go to school based on the money I made in that business," he told Fashionista in May. But, "it was not until I had my children that I really understood it and that I really felt that I had to do something to make their world a better place." That, and he read an article on British MP Jo Swinson, known for approaching the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about overly airbrushed billboards, and causing the ads' subsequent removal. In 2011, Matlins, along with Eating Disorders Coalition and The Brave Girls Alliance, began to work on the Truth in Advertising Act (H.R. 4341).
On Wednesday, he, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) will hold a rally of sorts on the House Triangle in D.C. for the bill that they released at the end of March, reports Women's Wear Daily. (Nothing stamps out bipartisanship like digitally remastered thigh gaps.) Matlins will also distribute copies of a Change.org petition that calls for federal oversight of Photoshop in ads (and bears more than 22,000 signatures) to the Federal Trade Commission. The legislation "would direct the 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," the petition states. "We're not talking about regulating…making a blue sky bluer, or [P]hotoshopping away a fly-away hair. We're talking about ads that change the shape, size, proportion, color, and enhance or remove the features of the people in them."
However, "we're" also not talking about editorials. Matlins explained to Fashionista: "Editorial [work] — individual and artistic expressions — has First Amendment protections that are much broader and much more sacrosanct than commercial speech." This could pose an interesting problem for magazines, should a model appear one way in an advertisement and differently in a photo spread a few pages later. But, it's artistic expression!