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End this fake perfection: Experts want a ban on airbrushing ads that leave girls loathing their own bodies



By Tim Shipman

Last updated at 12:06 AM on 09th November 2009




Airbrushing models to give them perfect bodies has helped create a generation of young women with eating disorders and depression, advertising watchdogs have been warned.

More than 40 of the world's leading experts on body image issues today call for a ban on touching up photos in advertising for the under 16s.

In a hard-hitting report they warn that such unnaturally skinny models can make girls as young as five become self-conscious about their weight.



Enlarge article-0-07236145000005DC-399_468x311.jpg A brush with fantasy: Victoria Beckham, posing for an Armani underwear ad, may have had a little help to look this slinky


In a letter to the Advertising Standards Authority, the academics from Britain, America and Australia say that the 'clear majority of adolescent girls' have problems with 'depression, stress, guilt, shame, insecurity and body dissatisfaction'.

The ASA has received more than 1,000 complaints about airbrushed adverts in the past three months following a campaign by the Liberal Democrats.

But the watchdog has previously refused to act because those who have complained have not provided scientific evidence for their claims.

In response, four academics have written a report detailing the damning conclusions of more than 100 academic studies worldwide.



Digital boost?: Keira Knightley poses for the King Arthur film poster with a bigger bust


The paper was written by body image experts Dr Helga Dittmar of the University of Sussex and Dr Emma Halliwell from the University of the West of England and researchers from the U.S. and Australia.

It has been signed by a further 40 doctors and psychologists worldwide. In a letter to the ASA, the researchers say: 'Exposure to the media ideal is linked with greater body dissatisfaction and more unhealthy eating beliefs and behaviours in women.


'It is very significant in women who already have some body image issues, and among adolescents.


article-1226162-072371FD000005DC-518_468x525.jpg Rachel Hunter: 'Unrealistic' poster girl (left) and natural beauty (right)




We hope that the advertising authorities in the UK and other countries will give this evidence serious consideration and see the urgent need for policy change.'

Tackling the widely held view in advertising circles that 'thin and sexy sells', the authors cite research showing that average-size models - UK size 14 - are just as effective in advertising products as ultra-thin models, as long as they are equally attractive.

Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson said: 'This paper spells out the real damage irresponsible airbrushing is doing to young women's physical and mental health. The Advertising Standards Agency now has all the scientific evidence it needs to act.'

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So that's what she looks like! Lady Gaga reveals her face in a rare mask and hat-free appearance



By Sara Mccorquodale

Last updated at 10:32 AM on 09th November 2009





She's famed for her individual sense of style and rarely makes a public appearance without enormous sunglasses, an extravagant hat or mask obscuring her face.

But Lady Gaga wore nothing but make-up on German chat show Wetten Dass...? last night, making a rare decision to show off her face instead of her fashion.


article-0-0720FECB000005DC-930_468x599.jpg Glowing: Lady Gaga showed off her face in a rare mask and hat-free appearance



The 23-year-old New Yorker revealed glowing skin and on-trend smoky eyes during her interview with host Thomas Gottschalk.

Although she made her entrance wearing huge sunglasses, she soon whipped them off to discuss the tattoo on her arm of a poem by German writer Rainer Maria Rilke.


article-0-07210D06000005DC-168_468x376.jpg The star discussed her tattoo of a Rilke poem with host Thomas Gottschalk




article-1226096-07221289000005DC-901_468x771.jpg Quirky: The New Yorker's playsuit stuck out from her body at a 90-degree angle



And while she did not sport her usual head and face pieces, the singer - whose real name is Stefani Germanotta - did not abandon her quirky sartorial taste completely.

Dressed all in black, the Paparazzi singer looked sleek and fashion-forward in over-the-knee PVC boots and a black strapless playsuit which stuck out from her body at a dramatic 90-degree angle.

Scarlet nail varnish topped off the look which was altogether unexpectedly accessible for the star.


article-0-070F3180000005DC-292_468x507.jpg Mask: The singer's penchant for quirky fashion means she often obscures her face as she did at the Ace Awards in New York last week



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1226096/So-thats-looks-like-Lady-Gaga-reveals-face-rare-mask-hat-free-appearance.html#ixzz0WMI42zHg

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