Norway could be leading the world’s charge against influencers and advertisers who add to the world’s unrealistic beauty standards by manipulating their photos.
It is about time that laws and regulations start to take seriously the body dysmorphia epidemic caused by social media filtering and retouching.
As a cosmetic surgeon noted regarding patients wanting to look like the heavily Facetuned version of themselves, they would literally need to crack open their heads, take out their teeth, and reposition their bones to allow them to resemble those digitally altered images.
Well, Norway might be on to something, having just passed new regulations as an amendment to the nation’s Marketing Act, reports VICE.
The new rules require that a standardised label, designed by the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Family Affairs, be included on any advertisements where a body’s shape, size, or skin has been retouched, even with social media filters.
That means that any manipulation from enlarged lips to narrowed waists and exaggerated muscles needs to be labelled accordingly.
Just like the rest of the globe, Norway is responding to the pervasiveness of what it calls “kroppspress”, which translates to “body pressure” or beauty standards that create low self-esteem both young and old.
The Ministry of Children and Family wrote in the proposed amendments sent to the Norwegian parliament:
“Body pressure is always there, often imperceptibly, and is difficult to combat. A requirement for retouched or otherwise manipulated advertising to be marked is one measure against body pressure.”
“The measure will hopefully make a useful and significant contribution to curbing the negative impact that such advertising has, especially on children and young people,” the ministry added.
Influencers and celebs are perhaps the biggest culprits among those targeted by the new laws, particularly if they “receive any payment or other benefit” for their posts across all the major social media platforms.
If there is any violation of the law, a person could be punished with escalating fines and, in extreme cases, even imprisonment.
Maybe that’s enough to get people to rethink how damaging presenting a fake version of themselves online can be.
Influencers in Norway are apparently responding to the new regulations positively, which makes sense as they are also, in a rather circular way, also the victims of this body dysmorphia epidemic.
Let’s see if the rest of the world will follow Norway’s lead.
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