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Norway has passed a law to tackle body image issues in society.
The new legislation mandates that social media influencers and content creators disclose when they’ve retouched or added a filter to a photo.
The new regulations were passed as an amendment to the nation’s Marketing Act with a majority of 72 to 15 votes.
Any photo where “a body’s shape, size or skin has been changed by retouching or other manipulation” must be labeled as edited. Some of the modifications listed are “enlarged lips, narrowed waists, and exaggerated muscles.”
Celebrities and social media influencers must also mark altered images if they are paid or benefit somehow from the post.
“Body pressure is present in the workplace, in the public space, in the home, and in various media, etc,” the Ministry of Children and Family writes in the proposed amendments sent to the Norwegian parliament. “Body pressure is always there, often imperceptibly, and is difficult to combat. A requirement for retouched or otherwise manipulated advertising to be marked is one measure against body pressure.”
“The measure will hopefully make a useful and significant contribution to curbing the negative impact that such advertising has, especially on children and young people,” the ministry added.
Norway might not be the only country to head down this path.
In September, a lawmaker from the United Kingdom proposed a bill called the Digitally Altered Body Images Bill, which would require social media influencers to make similar disclosures on their posts. In February, the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority banned social media influencers from using “misleading” beauty filters in advertisements. It bars filters which “exaggerate the effect of a cosmetic or skincare product.”
The United States Congress introduced the Truth in Advertising Act in 2014to shield purchasers from negative body ideal messages but the law did not pass.