Image Augmentation In Advertising

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Historically, the production and reproduction of images was a skill that required considerable effort/expertise (Rossner and Yamada, 2004). This is not the case anymore, as significant advances in technology including the creation of the digital camera combined with the introduction of computer software such as Photoshop, have made it easier and quicker to manipulate images than ever before. For some practitioners, these technological developments present new opportunities for increased accuracy, as a way of art, and any regulation is a form of censorship. In contrast, whilst many accept, it is now considered normal to see an advertisement of a thin model, many also argue this technology supports the misrepresentation of individuals, products…show more content…
The purpose of this paper is to determine whether there is a rationale for the regulation of image augmentation within advertising and other media. In order to critically analyze literature relating to the set topic, a detailed search for the terms ‘thin ideal’, ‘image augmentation’ and ‘digital manipulation’ specifically within the advertising and psychology discipline was conducted. In particular, studies that explore the correlation between the known negative effects and the ‘thin-ideal’, experienced specifically by women, are considered.

Subsequently, a synthesis of common arguments has been created, having analyzed a number of studies from across the globe; both for and against the set topic, before concluding that there is not sufficient rationale at present to warrant the proposed regulation on image augmentation within
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This view is supported by findings taken from the study conducted by Stice and Shaw (1994), whereby participants were exposed to the thin ideal through magazine images for which the results indicated that feelings of depression, unhappiness, and body dissatisfaction increased after viewing images of the extremely thin models.

In addition, researchers have discovered a correlation between negative body image, such as body dissatisfaction and unhealthy eating patterns (Richins, 1991). Findings indicate a preoccupation with unrealistic expectations of size and weight, results in an increase in eating disorders (Cattarin & Thompson, 1994; Reaves, Hitchon, Park & Yun, 2004; Mintz & Betz, 1988; Stice & Agras, 1998).

With many contemporary media organizations utilizing image augmentation to further increase the thinness of models, in an attempt to create the perfect aesthetically pleasing image (Spurgin, 2003), some researchers state that the media are responsible for the social reinforcement of the thin ideal. Researchers argue that this leads to internalization of the thin ideal, whereby there is evidence to further emphasize a direct link between body dissatisfaction and eating disorders (Stice & Agras, 1998; Stice et al.,
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