In an effort to stop the unrealistic expectations of beauty standards for women and men, Norway have amended the 2009 Marketing Act and have made it illegal to share retouched images in advertising without disclosing the editing. The law was passed with a considerable 72 to 15 government votes and now means that any advertisements that have alterations to the body’s size, shape and skin will need to be made apparent. Specific examples given included enlarged lips, edited body size and shape and edited muscles.
For many, this could be the beginning of recognizing that not everything on social media is real life. Everyday more and more young people are seeking cosmetic and surgical procedures in order to appeal to the beauty standards set by social media influencers. Many are concerned with recreating a more filtered version of them in reality that can often go to the extreme. By enforcing this law, Norway hopes to prevent a rise in body dysmorphia in the country.
However, it does raise the question of how much do you have to disclose? Whilst lighting and filters don’t physically change the body, they can alter skin tones appearing to be more white-washed. The Norwegian government has acknowledged that the law itself could be tricky to enforce as some editing is not always as noticeable but they will fine anyone found violating the legislation. Some could potentially face jail time.
Whilst we acknowledge this is a step in the right direction to fight back at the standards set by today’s society will it be enough to fight the modern-day issues surrounding body image? In a statement made by the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs they agreed “Body pressure is always there, often imperceptibly, and is difficult to combat.” Whilst this may be the case, we hope to see other countries follow in suit for what could be a revolution against fake unattainable body image.