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30th Jun 2021

Norway introduces laws against photo editing and retouching

Sarah McKenna Barry

The move has been largely welcomed by the online community in Norway.

Norway has introduced new legislation which issues fines for celebrities and influencers who retouch their photos without declaring that they have been edited.

The law now states that if an influencer receives a payment for a social media post, they must declare if their features have been edited with a Ministry-approved label. Conventional advertisements must use this labelling system as well.

The law applies to images where the body’s size, shape or skin colour has been edited or if a filter has been used.

The Norwegian Ministry voted largely in favour of the motion, and the online community welcomed the news.

Penalties apply to violations, and these vary from fines to a potential prison sentence, i-D reports.

In Verdens Gang, a local newspaper, Norwegian influencer Annijor Jørgensen commented on the legislation, and the change it might bring.

“Filters are something that should be fun,” she wrote. “Something you can laugh at, or be allowed to have a realistic butterfly on your face.”

Ms Jørgensen said that filters should not be used to “create a false beauty ideal”.

There is, however, some confusion over the laws. For instance, they don’t address adjustments to light settings or photo saturations, which can lighten the subjects’ skin colour.

Over the past few months, more and more people have been speaking out about the ways in which filters and photoshop lead to unrealistic body image expectations.

Earlier this year, for instance, Jameela Jamil said that we are “underestimating the damage caused by photo editing”.

She told Harper’s Bazaar: “We’ve just stopped seeing what real skin looks like, what real thighs look like; everyone’s elongating their bodies and making their waist smaller and all trying to fit this one identical prototype of what’s basically a lab-made doll that 14-year-old boys have conjured up.”