Getty Images Promotes Body Positivity with New Photoshop Ban

In anticipation of a new French law that requires photographers to disclose if a model's weight has been altered in post-production, Getty Images has decided to updates its submission terms for its service and iStock. The law will be enforced from October 7, 2017, and Getty recently sent an email to its contributors informing them of the changes.

The updated terms stipulate that any creative stills “depicting models whose body shapes have been retouched to make them look thinner or larger,” will breach their submission requirements. It's an interesting step forward for Getty, as the ban appears to effect worldwide contributors—not just those in France.

Meanwhile, French magazines will be obliged to indicate if photos have been retouched or face a fine of €37,500 ($45,000). Of course, basic retouching falls outside of the law.  Photographers are still allowed to make “a change of hair color, nose shape, retouching of skin or blemishes,” as these creative choices remained uncovered by the French policy.

So what will happen to Getty contributors who have already submitted altered work? It's not made clear in the email if those images will remain on the site, and if so, if they will be marked as retouched. It will also be interesting to see if other stock photography websites follow suit, taking a stand for body positivity.

The French law is just one small step that governments and fashion companies around the world are taking to try and combat unrealistic body images in the media. In fact, French holding companies LVMH and Kerring—which own dozens of brands like Dior and Gucci—recently announced a ban on size 0 models, as well as models under 16 for adult clothing shoots and events.

And now Getty is taking a stand as well. “As a leader in visual communications, Getty Images upholds the responsibility to ensure accurate and authentic visual representation,” a spokesperson told BuzzFeed“Our perceptions of what is possible are often shaped by what we see: positive imagery can have direct impact on fighting stereotypes, creating tolerance, and empowering communities to feel represented in society. That’s why over the last several years, Getty Images has made a concerted effort to change the way women and other marginalized communities are represented in media and advertising.”

h/t: [Peta Pixel, DesignTAXI]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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