Getty signals virtue with retouching rules

Retouched photos which make a model appear skinnier or larger will not be allowed on Getty Images from October.
Getty e-mailed contributors informing them about the changes to its Creative Stills Submission Requirements, stipulating that any images which modify the body shape will be a breach.

‘We have amended our Creative Stills Submission Requirements to require 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,’ it said in the e-mails. ‘Please note that other changes made to models like a change of hair colour, nose shape, retouching of skin or blemishes, etc, are outside the scope of this new law, and are therefore still acceptable.’

The agency didn’t state what punishments will be dealt for a breach, but it told DPReview that it will sort of review its archive.

‘It’s important to be clear that altering a model’s body shape as described by the new French law is quite rare in commercial stock photography so is likely to affect only a small number of images in our collection. Regardless, we will be working with our customers to ensure that they can adhere to Article L2133-2 of the Public Health Code in France.’

In another statement Getty said that the change was about fighting stereotypes and creating tolerance.

‘Our perceptions of what is possible are often shaped by what we see: Positive imagery can have direct impact on fighting stereotypes, creating tolerance, and empowering communities to feel represented in society,’ Getty said to Huffington Post. ‘At a time when imagery is the most widely spoken global language, it has never been more important to produce and promote a visual language that is progressive and inclusive.’

The policy updates comes after a new law in France which requires magazine publishers to disclose whether a model’s body shape has been changed in commercial images.

The French law also forbids fashion companies to employ models skinnier than US size 4, and models will need a doctor’s certificate stating they have a healthy body mass index.

Fines for not following the rules reportedly go up to €37,500.

Getty clarified the amended rules apply worldwide, not just in France.

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