The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is in charge of enforcing a federal law that dictates all advertisements must be truthful and, when appropriate, backed up by science. We all have heard the headlines about the crazy PhotoShop disappearing waist stunts pulled off by Ralph Lauren, or the time Flare magazine drastically altered Jennifer Lawrence’s cover photo in so many unnecessary ways.

 

On March 27, a new bill was introduced by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Flor.) and co-sponsored by Lois Capps (D-Cali.) and Theodore E. Deutch (D-Flor.) that has set the wheels in motion for the FTC to include PhotoShopped models as false and misleading advertising. It is called the Truth in Advertising Act.

 

The Truth in Advertising Act, in short, is essentially going to add images of PhotoShopped models to the list of what is currently considered misleading advertising, and it will require the FTC to report on the matter to Congress and force them to come up with a way in which they will reduce the use of images of models whose appearance has been physically altered.

 

The bill cites findings that include the increased health risks teens and children face as a result of the oversaturation of exposure to highly altered images of models in television and advertising. The bill also discusses the link between these altered images and the mental, emotional, and physical health problems, such as eating disorders, amongst women and men of all age groups.

 

According to Elite Daily, Capp suggests that this legislation could be a step to helping young men and women from developing unrealistic expectations of their body.

 

(Related: Aerie’s Unretouched Lingerie Ads The Start Of A Beauty Revolution?)

 

Capp also suggests that these ads are strikingly similar to the decades old cigarette advertisements that claimed cigarettes were not only healthy but could help you lose weight. They were eventually banned when the FTC was formed and scientific research found that cigarettes caused a wide variety of health problems.

 

Misleading advertisements have been taken very seriously in the United States. However, it does take legislation to ensure that the government can and will be involved in monitoring this particular form of advertising.

 

Considering the amount of academic research circulating which points the finger at overly-PhotoShopped models to the rise in eating disorders and the drop in self esteem, it is a wonder it took this long for Congress to respond.

 

What do you think of this new bill? Do you think it should pass? Or will it cause more problems than it will solve? Let me know what you think in the comments below or tweet me @kateeb790!