Norway recently passed a law that prevents social media users from uploading retouched photos without a disclaimer label. This is an attempt to lessen the unrealistic beauty standards that social media imposes on young people. I guess we knew this was coming when Kendrick Lamar stated on “Humble,” “I’m so sick and tired of the photoshop.” Me too, Kendrick. Me too.
So far, the United States hasn’t made any moves towards putting an end to the insanely retouched photos we see every day on social media. However, I doubt that will stay the same for much longer. More and more people are yearning for more natural photos on Instagram. I imagine that in the next 5 years or so, we’re going to see Instagram make some changes to how they handle retouched photos. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Here’s my take on how Norway’s new laws will change the dynamic of social media.
More on Norway’s New Law
This month, Norway made it a punishable offense to post retouched photos without a label claiming the photos were manipulated somehow. Anyone who violates this rule will get fined. This is an admirable attempt to reduce the amount of photo-shopped images on apps like Instagram. Also, think about retouched photos from the perspective of young women. I’m a grown-ass woman, and I sometimes feel self-conscious about showing my real body on Instagram. We’re living in the age of Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie, and Kylie Jenner. Those women always look flawless on Instagram. It can be tough for young people to see those photos and not aspire to look like them, even if their bodies are heavily photoshopped.
It’s no secret that social media has changed the way that young women feel about their bodies. Norway is the most recent country to make changes to legislation, making it harder for those photos to reach the masses. But, it might not be what we need right now. Instead of forcing celebrities and influencers to add a disclaimer, I believe we will see more of a rise in accounts that show realistic bodies. People are losing interest in accounts that only show picture-perfect Instagram personalities.
What’s Next for Retouched Photos
In the past 2 years or so, I have seen more and more Instagram accounts devoted to showing real bodies. Social media is already moving away from photos that show perfect skin and flawless hair. For example, acne-positive skincare influencers are hugely popular right now. Big publications like Cosmopolitan and Glamour highlighted “acne influencers.” These social media stars show off their acne scars, cystic acne, and hormonal acne. They teach you how to take care of your skin while also showing that even when you have a good skincare routine, your skin won’t always be perfect.
This is just one example that shows the next generation of how social media users are more conscious of the photos they post. Although Norway made the right move to prevent Instagram users from trying to pass off retouched photos as the real deal, it doesn’t necessarily mean the law will work. I think the only way we’re really going to see a big change on social media is if users, activists, and influencers change the photos they post. I’m already watching that happen on Instagram, so I think we are on the right track.
What do you think about this new law? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!