In the wake of Norway’s recent legal amendments, the UK is now weighing up whether or not to include transparency warnings on social media posts featuring digitally altered bodies.
Despite a welcome emphasis on authentic platforms like BeReal, social media is still plagued with ultra-curated, digitally enhanced content. In other breaking news, water is still wet.
Numerous studies have highlighted an undoubtable link between the aesthetic side of social media – particularly Instagram – and the mental health struggles of young people.
Take a Gen Zer with low self-esteem, present them with constant recommendations of posts and ads displaying unattainable body standards, and you’ve the perfect storm to create a severe body dysmorphia problem. Who would have thought?
Many claim we’re in an age of body positivity, where we should celebrate our individuality and oppose obvious attempts to perpetuate toxic body trends – especially where digital doctoring is concerned.
As we push for more transparency, however, a big issue is that the growing sophistication of body altering/touch up apps is making distinguishing between reality and artifice much harder.
Taking an active stance to prevent this, Norway has made it a legal requirement for influencers to disclose when digital modification has been used in paid Instagram posts. If photos have been retouched, a ministry-approved label appears below. Good idea, eh?
MPs within the UK’s Health and Social Care Committee are calling on their government to introduce similar laws and have been since 2020. Awaiting a second reading of the bill before the turn of the year, it appears they’re finally making progress.
In addition to social media transparency labels, the committee suggests that further regulatory measures need to be placed on ads for cosmetic services, like dermal fillers or Botox.