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A screenshot of a Getty Images iStock email distributed to contributors Monday in which the company says it will not longer accept images of models whose body shapes have been retouched to make them look thinner or larger.(Photo: Screenshot)

Getty Images iStock said in an email to contributors Monday that effective Oct. 1 the company requires “that you do not submit to us any creative content depicting models whose body shapes have been retouched to make them look thinner or larger.”

The move is in reaction to a new French law that obligates clients who use commercial images to disclose whether the body shape of a model has been retouched to make them look thinner or larger, the email states. The law goes into effect Oct. 1, according to the email, which was entitled “RE: Important Information on Retouched Images – Legal Update.”

Retouching images is a common practice in the media business but this development comes during a time when public conscientiousness regarding weight and image is undergoing a radical shift.

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Getty Images is a premier stock photography source for media outlets across the globe. Getty photographers, who are lauded and well-respected in the industry, are often given top consideration at major events. 

The policy shift will undoubtedly have significant repercussions across the industry and possibly beyond in the days to follow.

The email states that “other changes made to models like a change of hair color, nose shape, retouching of skin or blemishes, etc., are outside the scope of this new law, and are therefore still acceptable.”

According to the code of ethics of the National Press Photographers Association, a professional society that promotes high standards in visual journalism, “Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images’ content and context.”

The NPPA code urges photographers to “not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.”

Follow Jai  Agnish on Twitter: @jaiagnish



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