The Atlantic recently had a story about Israel’s new legislation in the fashion industry. In short, the law says models must have a BMI over 18.5–a number derived from the WHO’s standards–and Photoshop editing must be stated in the print piece if it’s used.
It’s an unprecedented government ruling, unlike any other in the world, and it’s based on the story told by the numbers.
In Israel, there are 1,500 new cases of eating disorders every year…We also know that the first cause of death in the age group of 15-24 is anorexia, so when you hear those numbers, they’re frightening.
If that is the story for Israeli women now, a new chapter must begin. Right away. And not just for them, but for all of us.
[The law states that] any ad which uses airbrushing, computer editing, or any other form of Photoshop editing to create a slimmer model must clearly state that fact. Advertising campaigns created outside of Israel must comply with the legislation’s standards in order to appear here.
It is worth pausing to note how, in these types of situations, we love to hate the ‘bad guys’ in the fashion industry who perpetuate these images. It lets us distance ourselves from the problem that ‘they’ create. In some ways, so does looking to government for similar laws, which are unlikely to come, even if we need them.
However, we can all takes a step away from the crazy and towards the truth that God created human beings with lovely bodies in lots of shapes and sizes.
One way to do that is to get our heads around the reality of Photoshop. If you’ve never seen a before and after of photoshopped photos, just google it. You’ll find tons of photos like this:
It rocked my world a bit when a little documentary I saw once noted that nearly every print piece in a magazine is edited. Every single one.
That was the day I stopped comparing myself to what I saw in magazines.
We were not made for comparisons to people, real or airbrushed. Nobody wins a comparison game. It is a lose-lose set up, creating undue pride in the person who believes they have won and undue shame in the person who believes they have lost.
In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes,
Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If every one else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.
No, we were not made for comparisons. Not to be too simple, but we were made for love.
This video has been out for quite some time, but if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the minute.