LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Congress should pass ‘The Truth in Advertising Act’

We all are aware that magazines are everywhere — their covers fill the gray racks of stores as you prepare to purchase groceries; they sit in shelves at gas stations — but what many people turn a blind eye to is that a majority of those people on their covers are not who they appear to be. They are lying. Deceiving. Even annoying.

These models are photoshopped in an unrealistic manner, and this is part of the reason why many teens are self-conscious. From body-image issues to eating disorders, photoshop has the potential to crumble our society like the Berlin Wall. That is why Congress needs to pass “The Truth in Advertising” Act. This law will make extreme Photoshop illegal, and it forces magazines to be truthful in their covers and models, as well as social-media pictures.

The reason why “The Truth in Advertising Act” should be passed is because photoshop destroys one’s body image, and it is so common, self-image problems can begin at an early age. In fact, at 17 years of age, 78 percent of girls are unhappy with their body. Being non-content with your body can lead to anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and other self-starvation, or harmful disorders. These disorders are dangerous, and can kill those affected with them.

Photoshop can cause many young women and girls to resort to harmful methods used to make themselves “model skinny,” which is why it should be banned. Evidence of this statement is that photoshop’s public release was in 1990, but it had been used by private companies since 1988. In the years 1988-1993, the percentage of those affected with bulimia, an eating disorder, had tripled.

This shows that something is extremely wrong with photoshop, because the numbers of these disorders do not increase so dramatically for no reason. There must be something that occurred for it to happen.

Lastly, since photoshop is used in media, it can be part of the reason there is a high percentage of depression in adolescents, about 2.8 million teens, doctors claim. This why it should be illegal. They are exposed to seemingly perfect women and men, and still have yet to become sure of themselves. Media can easily manipulate their minds into believing they are not good enough, and so, they can fall into depression. Now that this has been stated, depression’s effects include a lack of interest, and fatigue.

Many teens take up small part-time jobs in stores, fast-food and regular restaurants. Thus, the lack of interest could possibly drop job rates.

Those opposing my claim may say if we get rid of photoshop, magazine companies may lose much of their profit, because by now, it is a way of life. Truthfully, many people do judge books by their cover. If their “appeal” is taken away, people may no longer purchase magazines.

While that statement may be the case, it is unimportant because there are crucial matters at hand. Some may refuse to buy magazines, but a company losing a bit of their money is better than having an extremely high percentage of teens with mental and eating disorders that have the potential to kill them.

Perhaps this argument has changed your views if, in the beginning, you thought otherwise. If you did believe this beforehand, I hope this has strengthened your reasons to fight against photoshop. So, aid in ending the extreme use of it.

For just a week, do not buy any magazine or view any pictures of photoshopped people. Or, even talk to your legislators about “The Truth In Advertising Act.” Think about our future; we all would prefer to have a healthy, hard-working society rather than a sick society with no one willing to have a career. So, what will you do? Let our “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” go to waste?

Alexa Griffith

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