UK department store giant Debenhams announced last week that they will no longer be completely retouching their lingerie campaigns. Although the print campaigns will correct minor things like errant hairs and pigmentation, they will no longer be thinning bodies, whitening teeth or enhancing bust lines. Debenhams wants customers to “help customers feel confident about their figures without bombarding them with unattainable body images.”
Recent research by UK organization the Schools Health Education Unit found that half of school girls as young as twelve are unhappy with their weight and are skipping meals to stay slim, which they believe is partially due to exposure to airbrushed images.
Debenhams is also calling on other major retailers to stop overusing Photoshop, saying that a universal ban will help encourage body positivity amongst consumers, rather than “bombarding them with unattainable body images.” The move is also an economical one–millions are spent on photo retouching every year. This also isn’t Debenhams first step towards consumer body positivity–in 2010, the store began using size 16 mannequins to reflect the average woman.
The move also comes weeks after a controversial H&M summer 2013 campaign with Beyoncé. The singer reportedly ordered the company to remove her ads after she noticed her famous curves had been greatly reduced via photo editing. H&M agreed and continues to use the unretouched photos in their print marketing.
We’re excited, LivLunatics–we hope that other retailers across the globe will pick up on Debenhams’ lead and stop excessively Photoshopping their print ads as well! Photoshopping has gotten way out of hand, especially for lingerie ads. What’s your take on the situation?