A New Sensation: Debenhams Vows Not to Retouch Model Shots

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It's about g. damn time:

The airbrush backlash is now well underway as Debenhams announces a ban on all retouched lingerie model shots.

The high-street department store puts an end to such images as they "want to help customers feel confident about their figures without bombarding them with unattainable body images".

The use of some digital photography techniques to create unrealistic body shapes and flawless skin can make men and women feel more insecure about their natural looks and size.

Recent research shows that half of schoolgirls as young as 12 are unhappy with their weight and some are skipping meals in an effort to slim, "due to exposure to airbrushed images".

A further 58 per cent of girls aged 14 or 15 said they wanted to lose weight, according to the study by the Schools Health Education Unit.

Debenhams now calls on its rivals to ban airbrushed images too.Downloads2

"We want other retailers to follow suit and encourage positive body-image through minimal retouching rather than bombarding them with unattainable body images," said a spokesperson.

As well as being a positive from a moral point of view, it ticks the economic boxes as well.

"Millions of pounds a year are spent by organizations retouching perfectly good images," says Sharon Webb, Head of Lingerie buying and design for Debenhams.

"As a rule we only airbrush minor things like pigmentation or stray hair and rely on the natural beauty of models to make our product look great."

Debenhams previously ran trials with size 16 mannequins in windows and has worked with disabled models and paralympians and this move furthers the store's commitment to promoting positive body image and inclusivity.

The retailer's campaign is "all about making women feel fabulous about themselves rather than crushing their self-esteem by using false comparisons".

Caryn Franklin, fashion commentator and co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, says: "Fashion and beauty imagery that is honest, is absolutely crucial for all women to see. Retailers have the power to take a stance on digital manipulation, so, I'm delighted that Debenhams has taken the lead here and customer feedback will no doubt validate this important step."

"Airbrushing and other trickery are not necessary in order for women to look beautiful," says lingerie designer, Aliza Reger.

"Hopefully this act will demonstrate that products such as lingerie modeled by real women who have not been retouched can sell just as well as products advertised with extensive airbrushing, which has become the norm."

"Men and women can feel good about themselves knowing that beauty is not about achieving the unachievable."

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