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Medicine Science

Israel Passes Photoshop Law To Combat Anorexia 488

Hugh Pickens writes "The Atlantic reports that the Israeli parliament has passed legislation that prohibits fashion media and advertising with models who fall below the World Health Organization's standard for malnutrition banning underweight models as determined by Body Mass Index. The new law also stipulates that any ad which uses airbrushing, computer editing, or any other form of Photoshop editing to create a slimmer model must clearly state that fact. Advertising campaigns created outside of Israel must comply with the legislation's standards in order to appear in Israel. 'I realized that only legislation can change the situation,' says Rachel Adato, an Israeli parliament member with a background in medicine. 'There was no time to educate so many people, and the change had be forced on the industry. There was no time to waste, so many girls were dieting to death.' The measure has been controversial within Israel for raising the question of where free speech bumps up against the fashion industry's responsibility — and its possible harm — to its customers' psychological well-being. Donald Downs, a professor at the University of Wisconsin and an expert on the First Amendment, says that it would be very tough to pass something like Israel's law in the US Congress. 'In the US, it would be hard to justify this type of law on either legal or normative policy grounds,' says Downs. 'The Israeli law is paternalistic in that it prohibits something because of the effect it might have on others in the longer term.'"
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Israel Passes Photoshop Law To Combat Anorexia

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  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:13PM (#39946281)

    Back in the glory days of super models a la Cindy Crawford and Tyra Banks, from what CC said the typical size for a model was 6. Now, they're 0s and 2s. Some of them are downright repulsive. There's a pretty nasty pic of Gisele Bunchken post-pregnancy and it looks like she was trying to starve off the weight. Might as well drape the clothes over a wire hanger if that's what they're aiming for.

  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:13PM (#39946289) Homepage Journal

    It's not just *mostly* unattainable, it's unwise to even try, much less to achieve.

    Minor pet peeve of mine... Between anorectic fashion models and overweight "accept me as I am" reactions to the fashion models, the "sensible middle" has been lost.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:13PM (#39946295)

    They are no more "human" and entitled to human rights, then this building I'm sitting in. The people inside the building have a right to free speech, but not the building itself.

  • Re:Too late. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:16PM (#39946353)

    Where is the hate in crazyjj's post? Where is the anti-semitism in his post? Why do you consider speaking out for the Palestinians as hate towards Jews?

  • US Law (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:17PM (#39946367)

    'In the US, it would be hard to justify this type of law on either legal or normative policy grounds,' says Downs. 'The Israeli law is paternalistic in that it prohibits something because of the effect it might have on others in the longer term.'"

    The US already has a law that "paternalistic in that it prohibits something because of the effect it might have on others in the longer term". It is the FDA law that prohibits unsubstantiated medical claims because it might cause people to ignore treatments that actually work. The issue of under weight and Photoshoped images is that they cause people to attempt to attain that standard and cause health issues. This has been proven to happen.

  • Re:Too late. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:26PM (#39946485)

    The irony in Palestinian Israeli relations is that they're *both* descended from the same people who once made up the Hebrew tribe in ancient Israel. Not that either would ever admit it. It's kind of a bizarre situation. It would be actually be funny, if they weren't killing and oppressing each other with such deadly seriousness.

  • Re:Too late. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:33PM (#39946597) Journal

    Arguing that someone didn't use a word correctly is like saying

    It's like saying that they don't know what they're talking about.

    Saying that Palestinians should not be kept walled into ghettos is not antisemitic. Disagreeing with Israeli government policy is not antisemitic. Being in favor of a two-state solution is not antisemitic. Criticizing Israel is not antisemitic.

    When you don't "use that word correctly", you are doing a lot more than using a wrong "naming convention". You are factually incorrect.

  • Re:Hard in the US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:37PM (#39946631)
    Ever notice how cereal boxes say stuff like "enlarged to show texture." or how all car commercials present the text "trained driver on closed course" or cigartte cartons proclaim, "we're pretty sure this is going to kill you."

    ok. i paraphrased the last one, but these are all because we do pass laws requiring that companies don't misrepresent their products. The cereal flakes are actually quite small. You won't be doing donuts in that car. The action figures do not walk and talk. If we have decided that people are going to feel so ripped off by the actual size of their cereal flakes that we need laws governing how you can depict your cereal, it stands to reason that we might need to inform people that those models have been digitally altered to conform to unattainable levels of beauty.
  • by Prune ( 557140 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:37PM (#39946633)

    Huh? It's a matter of personal responsibility. You shouldn't be relying on the government to tell you what's good or bad for you; that's trying to absolve oneself of responsibility for their own life. That some people lack self control in resisting external influences, real or perceived, is unfortunate but it does not justify infringing others' freedoms. The government being your nanny is not a right, whereas freedom is.

  • by excelsior_gr ( 969383 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:49PM (#39946809)

    "free speech" doesn't mean "free to say whatever you want"

    You bet your bottom it does. And quite sly of you to say that your above opinion is "common knowledge". Having said that, I will acknowledge that there are rules that limit such freedoms, but only to protect other freedoms. Every time a new rule is put in place, careful thought is necessary in order to prevent abuse. I, for one, don't see a good enough reason for a rule in this case, so I guess I am against it, although I believe that our artificial world is seriously lacking in realism sometimes. But this is the tragedy of trying to keep such freedoms: most of the time you end up defending scum.

  • Re:Too late. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:52PM (#39946863)

    Riiiight, speaking out for the rights of the Palestinians is an "anti-Jewish" sentiment. I wonder, is speaking out for Jews during WWII an anti-"Arian" sentiment? Is speaking out for Tibetians an anti-Sino sentiment? Is speaking out for black South Africans during Apartheid an anti-Christian sentiment?

  • Re:Too late. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:54PM (#39946885) Journal

    I think you should go talk to a Palestinian, preferably one whose land has been taken away from them as a result of things like the settlements and that apartheid wall Israel is building.

    And it's not Israel that's the evil entity. It's the Israeli government. I imagine the Israelis on an individual level are generally pretty cool people.

    And for the record, it is FUCKING DISGUSTING that people like you would try to suppress the debate about the Israeli government's treatment of the Palestinians by throwing the word "anti-Semitic" around. You have no fucking clue what real anti-Semitism looks like, asshole. Shitheads like you are diluting the meaning of that phrase, rendering it useless for describing ACTUAL anti-Semites.

  • Whereas in the US (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:56PM (#39946915)

    'In the US, it would be hard to justify this type of law on either legal or normative policy grounds,' says Downs. 'The Israeli law is paternalistic in that it prohibits something because of the effect it might have on others in the longer term.'"

    Whereas in the US laws are passed on the effect they may have on contributors to those who are passing them.

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:56PM (#39946917) Homepage Journal

    The new law also stipulates that any ad which uses airbrushing, computer editing, or any other form of Photoshop editing to create a slimmer model must clearly state that fact.

    I'm pretty libertarian, but I'm 100% OK with that requirement by itself. Labeling laws help consumers make informed decisions about their purchases, which is a basic requirement of a free market. For example, I fully support a store's right to sell ground beef containing "pink slime" as long as it's clearly labeled as such. Along those lines, let Israel require companies to state that their images do not depict genuine humans. I'd like to be able to show my daughter that I'm not just making this stuff up, that models in magazines really don't look like that in real life and aren't a reasonable standard to judge yourself by.

  • Re:Too late. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oh-dark-thirty ( 1648133 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:57PM (#39946923)

    Wish I had mod points. Most people have no idea that both people co-existed in relative harmony for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Not only that, there's some indication the "Palestinians" have converted their faith twice...once to Christianity during the Byzantine era, and then eventually to Muslim when the Ottomans took over...

  • Advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scot4875 ( 542869 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:57PM (#39946929) Homepage

    Advertising is not free speech. We already have tons of laws about what can be said in advertisements. We have entire categories of products banned from advertising via various forms of media.

    And, besides that, fuck push advertisers. They don't inform. They don't help. They play upon human psychology and insecurity to make people feel inferior if they don't have The Product. They try to associate themselves with warm, fuzzy feelings to make people feel good about The Product. They do not operate on a rational level. The sooner we're rid of them entirely the better.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:01PM (#39946981)

    This might not be the typical Slashdot comment. I post it anyway because anorexia was part of my live for many years.

    My daughter has had anorexia. As a dad I watched my daughter identify herself with wrong and manipulated social standards (mainly fashion / beauty magazines) For her the images of her idols were reality. Nothing could change her mind. Over a period of 2-3 years she gradually slided down into anorexia. As a parent we tried to help and we sought professional help but mostly in vain. She only became more careful with exposing her 'behavior'. Unfortunately the switch only came after she reached 81.5 pounds (37kg) and was hospitalized for over 8 weeks. Specialists say that a few pounds less and she would not have survived it .

    How do you explain to an 15 year old that everything she reads about her idols is manipulated / orchestrated? Warning messages in beauty and fashion magazines seem like a good effort to me. I consider myself liberal, normally I am against (government) control and over legislation. Normally I would immediately condemn such a legislation. But I also don't want any parent to experience what we experienced. Don't make the mistake that it can not happen to you. We are a normal family, no family history of drugs or mental disorders. We are realistic, we all enjoyed higher education. And still anorexia was a harsh reality for us.

    Lucky my daughter got better. She is now back on a 'normal weight' but her fight is far from over. >5 years after she is still selective in what she eats, she still counts her calorie intake. But she can now place what happened to her and detect warning signals herself. Next September she will start her final year at university.

  • by Applekid ( 993327 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:13PM (#39947153)

    But why only for women. There's also a problem with men in most magazines. Most of them look like they spend 16 hours a day in a gym and are probably on steroids. Should we start to legislate how much muscle men pictured in magazines can have. Because if we don't we might have too many young men experimenting with steroids.

    Society places an exponential weight on how a woman looks versus how a man looks. Little girls are being indoctrinated with the idea that "thin, and nothing else, is sexy" from a very early age, and feel shamed for not meeting those standards.

    Boys, on the other hand, do not. They are indoctrinated with other messages, like competition and winning, and are given pro athletes to idolize and want to be.

    It's also a negative influence, but at least athletes are actually performing the acts they do in the games. No one will argue that boys playing sports is bad for their health (even though it could be, look at how many kids are injured in organized school sports), but girls starving themselves for an ideal only made possible by photoshopping is much more harmful.

  • Re:Too late. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:16PM (#39947189)

    "As the post directly above yours shows, there is a definite streak of antisemitism on Slashdot."

    No: It shows misery loves company. Miserable people seek out other miserable people in order to make more miserable people.

    But, feel free to keep up the persecution complex while you actively seek to provoke people into "wronging" you to justify your own anti-social behavior.

  • Re:Too late. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:38PM (#39947517)

    Apartheid, apartheid, apartheid, settlements, settlements, settlements.

    All throughout Arabia, Shiite Muslims kill Sunni Muslims, nobody cares.
    Sunni Muslims kill Shiite Muslims, nobody cars.
    But if an Israeli kills a Palestinian - Apartheid, apartheid, apartheid.

    Border disputes are border disputes all across the world. But if one party of a border dispute is Israel, it's occupation, settlement, apartheid racist.

  • by tsotha ( 720379 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @05:45PM (#39947609)

    Money is fungible. If the US didn't support Israel's defense there would be less money for social programs.

    In any event, the current state of affairs is unsustainable because the segment of the population that's having all the children isn't paying taxes or serving in the military and the economy isn't growing fast enough to make up the difference.

  • Re:Too late. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @06:21PM (#39948047) Journal

    And yet Israel still treats their Palestinian neighbors better than most of the nearby contries treat their Palestinian refuge camps. Naturally, the same people who blame the former on "teh Evil Jews" also blame the latter on "teh Evil Jews" (as well as the national debt, the behavior of Hollywood, and price of gas ,.....).

    It's anti-semitic in the sense that it's usually mentioned as part of some larger anti-semitic rant.

    On the other half of your comment - if Palestinians were launching rockets at my neighborhood school, I would have been vigorously advocating a Carthaginian peace myself, so I can only admire Israel's restraint in the circumstances.

  • Fuck it, I'll take the hit as I'm always brutally wanna fix the whole problem? you do? then get rid of the gay fashion designers! Every designer I've seen picking those sickly bony bitches has been queer as a three dollar bill, which hey, you wanna be gay? Not a problem with that, but what I DO have a problem with is YOU choosing what is fashionable and sexy for women! That would be like picking a straight guy like me and expecting them to make guys look sexy...WTF?

    To any gay fashion designers out there as a straight man, let me give y'all a little advice, mmmkay? WE LIKE TITS! Some (like me) prefer the gal to be natural, some don't care, but we ALL like some nice soft titties. Oh and butts is nice too, don't have to be no J-Lo park a 6 pack on 'em, but something nice and grab worthy is a plus.

    But what you will find most men do NOT like is a woman that is so damned starved looking that when she takes a drink you can watch it moving like Slim Goodbody, that's gross. And have you ever been around a woman that damned starved for any length of time? Man ALL they do is bitch and whine and complain! There ain't nothing more bitchy on this entire planet than a starved female on some damned diet, let me tell you! And then when you finally get her to just eat a damned sandwich to STFU, who she gonna blame if she gained 1/16th of a ounce? that would be YOU!

    Of course YOU ain't having to listen to that because you are going home to some dude that probably looks like Vin Diesel and would tell you to STFU if you said shit about how many calories he's got to put away to keep them big ass arms up. So do us straight guys a favor and just knock that shit off, okay? If you want something straight lined to hang them ugly ass fashions on go get one of them jap robots, then at least we guys can see "See sweetie, its just a damned robot so quit complaining about eating that damned rabbit food and try some of this BBQ" and won't have to worry about our women trying to look like them crackheads you been modeling, mmmkay?

  • Re:Too late. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cavreader ( 1903280 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @08:58PM (#39949347)

    I wish more people would open their eyes to some reality when it comes to "Palestinians ". For some reason there was no recognized "Palestinian" state until after 1967. It was under Jordanian and Egyptian rule after England finished fucking up the region and finally left.. Anything England missed fucking up the middle east was taken care of by the French.

      Many Palestinians voluntarily evacuated their homes in 48 when the surrounding Arab countries told them the war would take about a week. No body ever mentions that 800 thousand Jews were forced to flee their homes in Arab countries with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing. Do you think the Arab countries would support the Jews right of return today? Palestinians were allowed to move into Jordan with very little, if any, restrictions and the first thing they did as a group was stage an armed revolt against the Jordanian government who then created the refugee camps. The "Palestinians" were also damn near the only group of people on the planet who openly supported Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1991. Subsequently over 400 thousand were kicked out of Kuwait after the war. None of Palestinian supporters have stepped up with anything other than bombastic rhetoric and political dogma. Saudi Arabia alone could practically buy a state for the "Palestinians". Yasser Arafat died a billionaire be skimming any aid provided to help the people.

    The last thing the "Palestinian" leaders want today is peace. They are making tons of money importing goods through their tunnel system and collecting tax revenue. The "Palestinian" leaders with influence live in their fancy villas in Lebanon and other countries so they never actually experience any inconveniences of the little people.
    And right now which part of "Palestine" should Isreal deal with? They do not even have a united country government. The "Palestinians" cannot even agree with one another let alone any 3rd party. It's way past time for them to just admit the have lost every meaningful military conflict and start adjusting their outlook on life and drop the hate propaganda.

    They have about the same chance Mexico has of the US handing back Mexican territory obtained using US military actions. And for those complaining about the US always supporting Isreal they should realize US support is the only thing that has kept Isreal from demolishing the entire area once and for all. The US aid is also used to provide the US with some leverage when it comes to Isreal selling it's advanced military hardware to countries like China. But if the Israeli aid goes away so should any other aid in the region.
    Hell, the US wasn't even a very enthusiastic supporter of Isreal until 1973 when Isreal started arming their nuclear warheads to glass Damascus and Cairo. And while all this nonsense goes on the average Ahmed on the street gets the shitty end of the stick as usual and will continue to do so until the pro-palestinian groups admit that Palestinian actions and poor decisions represent the largest reason for the conflict.

  • by cheekyjohnson ( 1873388 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @11:38PM (#39950283)

    Under this logic, the government could censor pretty much anything. Some insane person went on a murderous rampage? Video games were the trigger. Ban video games!

    This is extremely scary to me. Especially since we're considering banning/censoring things due to the stupidity of others. I don't care for such slippery slopes.

"Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue." -- Peter Neumann, about usenet