Recent research suggests that constant exposure to social media is linked to body dissatisfaction.
To protect their citizens, Norway’s ministry of children and family has proposed that the country’s marketing act mandate that images that have been altered to enhance a person’s appearance be labeled as retouched. The ministry references studies that demonstrate how kroppspress or “body pressure” lowers self-esteem, especially for vulnerable and impressionable youth.
“Body pressure is always there, often imperceptibly, and is difficult to combat,” reads a statement from the ministry. “A requirement for retouched or otherwise manipulated advertising to be marked is one measure.”
Legislators in Norway are on board with these changes, which will also apply to photos that have been captured with a physical filter or use digital airbrushing techniques to change skin tone or make other aesthetic changes.
Celebrities and influencers who are paid for promotional content and endorsements will also have to abide by these new amendments.
Suzanne Samaka from Watford, Hertfordshire, is petitioning for the UK to make similar changes with her #HonestyAboutEditing campaign. “Social media means our young people have a highlight reel of perceived perfection at their fingertips at a time when they should be building their confidence and resilience,” says Samaka, a mother herself.