Passing the digitally altered body image bill will impact influencers revenue.
Written by Scott McGlynn, a skincare influencer and content creator with around 260K followers @scottmcglynnofficial
The Body Image Bill was introduced in Parliament by Dr. Luke Evans MP in January 2022. Its purpose is to call for commercial images featuring digitally altered bodies to be labelled clearly therefore letting the public know that they are not viewing the true image. Dr Evans maintains that edited commercial images of the human body do not represent reality, and are helping to perpetuate a warped sense of how we appear, with real consequences for people suffering with body confidence issues. He says that as a GP he has seen this first hand.
Dr Luke Evans wants to the law to require a disclaimer be added to any filtered or digitally altered photos in the form of a ‘P’ logo. Dr Evans says “Quite simply, if someone is being paid to post a picture on social media which they have edited, or if advertisers, broadcasters or publishers are making money from an edited photograph in any form, they should be honest and upfront about having edited it. “
I am an influencer. I left school with no qualifications after being mercilessly bullied for my severe acne and my sexuality. I worked in a hair salon and started to build in confidence. My colleagues encouraged me to share my teenage story. From that a community started to grow around me on social media and I realised that men wanted to talk about their skin and sexuality. That is how my career as a skin care influencer started and grew. I love sharing tips with my followers and also to be able to advise them if they are struggling with acne, rosacea or any kind of skin complaint.
A survey found that 71% of people won’t post a photo without photoshopping it. I know loads of other skincare instagramers who filter their photos. This can mean that people are being misled and buying products because they think the effects they are seeing in the posts are real. An example is a post about flawless foundation. The influencer can photoshop the post to look flawless and currently you wouldn’t know any different. You might expect that foundation to do the same to your skin.
Statistics show that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 3 teenagers feel shame about their body, with nearly 20% of adults feeling disgusted about their body image. Because of the nature of what I post and my story, I would never alter my photos. People trust that what they see is the real me. Brands who employ me trust that I am authentic. So this bill may even boost my earnings as opposed to damage them. I have around 260 thousand followers on instagram. How can I help people feel good about their skin if I’m filtering mine to look better than it is? I want my followers and community to understand that we mustn’t hide behind anything. We should be proud of who and what we are, despite dealing with skin conditions and not looking perfect.
I know that many influencers are worried that this bill will effect their income and they may start to lose money as brands decide to stick to those who portray real images as opposed to those instagrammers who filter and photo shop their content. Brands are already voting with their feet and withdrawing from working with certain instagrammers. A few months ago Ogilvy UK said they would not work with creators who alter their images anymore. It is thought more brands will follow suit especially as a survey
In 2017 a study found that 88% of girls aged 11-21 said they wanted adverts which had been airbrushed to say so. MP Dr. Luke Evans says altered social media images are having a severe impact on the mental health of our young people. A report found that 51% of 7-10 year old girls feel ‘very happy’ with how they look, but by age 11-16 when most girls start to use social media, this drops significantly to just 16%.
I’m all for this bill to be passed and I think it will change the business of influencing.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lucy Hood .
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