Should Transparency on Social Media Be a Law?

I saw this post on social media a few days ago and immediately saved it because I wanted to discuss it with friends eventually. 

The post did make me laugh but I decided to do a little more research on this law to find out how serious this was and if it had any chances of coming to the west side of the world. 

As I did more research, I found the UK has proposed a law to have edited photos labelled on social media. Edited posts have a negative impact on young girls’ self-image. Considering that there are a bunch of filters and editing apps that are used in efforts to fit in on social media. This law is supposed to curb mental health for young women and show them images on social media aren’t everything that they seem.

This is already a thing in France. Where advertising companies have agreed to disclose editing on photos and could face a fine of up to 30% of advertising costs. 

This will be another thing that influencers have to add to their posts. This and that their posts are ads. I remember this being a big deal when it came out too. Some influencers were’t for sharing that their posts were sponsored.  In one article I saw a few influencers were disappointed and felt they shouldn’t have to share with their followers that they edit their photos because they too battle with insecurities and editing their photos makes them feel better. 

Editing photos has been around way before we had social media. Think about billboards or commercials, all of those photos are edited. But I think social media affects us more because we can feel bombarded with images of perfection when in actuality it’s a professional editing photos and on top of that an influencer can have unnoticeable surgeries for example fillers. 

I follow a lot of makeup artists who’s work I look up to because I like to keep up with makeup trends. I also check out celebrity makeup artists’ Instagram pages from time to time. I aspire to be the best at what I do so why not follow the best too. These images can come off as pure perfection, poreless skin, no acne, perfectly placed blush. To a not so trained eye, all of this can look like perfectly executed makeup. When in reality, it’s a lot more than being an exceptional makeup artist or having many years in the game. There’s lighting, skin treatments, photo editing and filters. I didn’t realize this until they would post a video of their makeup, or they would post the client outside of the studio where they don’t have access to the same lighting. One influencer I follow posted pictures of herself from a photoshoot jokingly saying she knew her makeup artist was going to alter the picture even more. When she showed a side-by-side comparison, you could tell there was a filter and probably some photo editing because her features looked different. 

The other day a friend and I were discussing the WAP music video. She said Kylie Jenner’s face looked different in the music video than she did on Instagram. I think it’s because her pictures are heavily edited on Instagram as well as using filters. 

Using filters in Instagram pictures is something that everyone does. And tbh on the app, its really rare to take pictures without using filters because it’s like that camera picks up on everything, probably on purpose for you to use more features in the app. I personally haven’t found my favourite filter on Instagram because they are a bit overboard for me. But I find it difficult to post a picture without going on another photo editing app first to at least smooth out my skin. Take for example last week, I had done a no-makeup makeup look and loved how it turned out. But my pores looked large and you could see a few breakouts on my forehead. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable posting the picture had I not smoothed out my pores and removed my acne. 

Seeing heavily edited photos erases the fact that acne is normal, everyone’s skin has good days and bad days. Sometimes you take a picture and you have a good skin day, sometimes you’re skin is breaking out. Everyone’s skin is different, I know for myself that my skin is prone to texture and enlarged pores because I have oily skin.

Social media editing makes an unrealistic expectation of what we want to look like. We follow these pages to feel inspired unknowingly that just practicing our makeup skills, using filters and applying makeup is never going to get us there. Regardless of how we remind ourselves that we don’t have access to the same things influencers do or taking time off of social media we can’t get away from seeing these images on our feeds. I think if this idea goes past the proposition stage it would be a good law to pass because it would allow people to have a better idea of what it takes to create a picture like that and understand that it’s a little more than just a filter and some makeup. 

But let me know, what’s your thoughts on this topic? Do you think there should be a law that edited photos should be labelled? And do you feel like influencers and brands owe it to their followers, to be honest about what really goes into making the perfect photo?

Published by itsruthbb

Hey, I'm Ruth! Nice to meet you! Welcome to my blog all about self-care!

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