Thursday, September 24, 2009

Consumer Warning Labels? Yeah!

This was Keira Knightley's 2004 movie promotion picture in the U.K.:

This is the same (sort of) picture used in the U.S.:

The latter is retouched, naturally. The breasts are an obvious change, but if you look at the faces etc. in the two pictures you spot other "improvements".

AA sent me a link to a proposal in France to provide warning labels in fashion magazines when pictures have been retouched to make the models in them look skinnier than they are:

Can fashion photos that have been retouched to make models look impossibly skinny pose a risk, say, to young, impressionable girls who see the photos and want to look like the models? Some French legislators think so.

About 50 members of France's Parliament have proposed a law that would require labels that say when fashion and advertising photos have been digitally retouched, the Telegraph reports.

I like that a lot. It doesn't stop the advertisers from retouching the bodies of models. It just tells the reader the pictures are not real.

Where else could we use such warning labels? They already exist on alcohol and tobacco products. By the way, I saw warning labels on tobacco products in Europe geared specifically to men, in the sense that some of them warned men that smoking might hurt their sperm count or the quality of the sperm. I don't recall such warnings here but then I haven't been looking for those. I do know that alcohol labels are either gender-neutral or aimed at women.

Of course you might argue that the health effects of alcohol and tobacco are more studied than those of unreal pictures. But if all you require from the labels to say that the pictures are retouched, that doesn't really matter. It's just information. And nobody could oppose giving consumers more information, right? Hmm.

Let's return to that warning label idea. Why not require it posted on Internet porn? Something like:

Professional Fuckers In Pretend Situations. Don't Try This At Home Before Consulting Sex Education Sites For Real Sex Information.

Or you could add health warnings when the acts shown may cause anal tearing or spread bacteria from the anus to the vagina or possibly spread STDs.

I don't see why anyone would oppose those, either. Hmm.