Norway has issued a new law regarding photo retouching to improve mental health. This is everything you need about the most recent regulations.
Social media has made communication and staying in touch with family and friends much easier. Social media can have many negative effects on our lives. There are many models on the internet who show off their perfect bodies. This can lead to body insecurity.
Norway passed a law that requires influencers and advertisers label their photos after they are retouched. This is in an effort to reduce these unrealistic beauty standards. We will be looking at the law and how it impacts you.
What is the Retouched Photograph Law in Norway?
A new Norwegian law requires brands and influencers who are sponsored to post on social media to declare any modifications made using a ministry-approved label. You will now be informed if an image is altered.
This photo law on retouching applies to images that have been altered in body shape, form, color, or used filters to take photos. Labeling is required for any exaggeration, enlarged lips, or narrower waists.
It is human nature for us to compare ourselves with others. Unfortunately, social media has made this worse. It is easy to compare our imperfections with photoshopped models when we see unrealistic body images on the Internet.
RELATED: Negative Impacts of Social Media on People and Users
Our mental health can be severely affected by unrealistic or impossible beauty standards that are created through edited online photos. It can cause low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and even suicide.
The effects of image manipulation on young people
This isn’t a new problem. Some of us are obsessed with how our bodies look, thanks to social media. You get more social media likes and responses the prettier you are. We can feel insecure about our appearances due to this need for approval and social attention.
In 2016, Taylor and Francis Online conducted research with 144 young girls between 14 and 18 years old. They found that their exposure to morphed images on social media had a negative impact on the young participants. Participants rated edited images more highly than natural images, demonstrating how unrealistic beauty standards can influence younger generations.
RELATED:TikTok, Instagram Add Resources For Users Affected By Negative Body Image
You might be influenced by images you see online, even if you’re not comfortable with your personality. Many young women see perfect bodies and flawless skin online and want to be like them. It’s no longer an option, but a quest for the impossible.
You will eventually hate yourself because there is no perfect body. Anorexia, depression, anxiety and other mental health problems can result from this inability to attain the desired result. In Norway, anorexia is the third leading cause of death for young women, there have been increasing concerns about self-esteem and body image.
The New Law of Norway is Essential
In recent years, Norway has seen an increase in the number of people with mental disorders who need treatment. A little over 70,000 children and youth suffer from mental disorders. This is quite a large number considering the country’s small population of just 5.4 million.
Image Credit: Statista
Advertisement and social media can place a lot of pressure upon you to achieve the perfect body. This is often digitally edited. If you are looking to be like the models on social media, these photoshopped and filtered images may make you look unrealistic.
The law identifies body pressure as the main reason for poor mental health in children and young people. The new law will reduce body insecurity by banning advertisers and influencers sharing doctored images that we see on social media platforms and ads, without our consent.
Many online influencers welcome the new law as an opportunity to challenge extreme body standards. The new law will give life a reality that is not possible or misleading, according to them.
What does the Online Community Have to Say?
In the past, many celebrities asked magazines not to touch their photos. They understood that this could cause body insecurity in some people.
Zendaya, an actress from Hollywood and a popular online personality, shared before and after photos of her editing to show the difference between reality and fiction.
Image Credit: Zendaya/ Instagram
Madeleine Pedersen is a Norwegian influencer who acknowledges that our unrealistic beauty standards can make us feel insecure about how we look. She also shared that social media has caused her to struggle with body issues in the past. According to the influencer, we need to know if what we see online has been altered or taken from an original photograph.
Eirin Kristiansen (Norwegian Influencer) says that it is a step in a positive direction but, at the moment, seems more like a temporary solution than a permanent one. She believes that badges on social media posts will not solve mental problems.
This Law: Is it an answer to mental health issues?
Our body image is affected by social media. A survey by Parliament UK found that only 5% of participants under 18 said they were happy with their appearance, and they don’t consider surgery or dieting to improve it.
Image Credit: UK Parliament
The Norwegian government made the right decision to make photos public. This will not solve the problem because it is complex and requires a multifaceted solution.
To make images look appealing, we often adjust the brightness, saturation, contrast, or other aspects of our images. These options are available on most social media platforms. Professional photographers use filters to enhance models’ appearances.
This is because these regulations and restrictions on corporations and influencers are not going to solve the root problem. Facebook and other social media platforms such as it, mention personal health in advertising policies. They also share resources to assist.
We can make more effort to avoid being misled by social media. A different approach is the best way to solve body image problems in the long term. Perhaps increasing awareness or accepting realistic body standards.
Norway’s Photo Law Opens a Critical Discussion
Image manipulation can have a significant impact on our bodies and mental health. Although Norway’s amended photo regulation raises awareness about online image manipulation, it does not solve the mental health problem for young women and men.
It will be fascinating to see what other countries do and how social media channels address this urgent issue. Norway’s law on photo editing is a wakeup call about how social media images can manipulate us and impact our perceptions of ourselves.