Washington state bill aims to fight digitally altered photos in ads

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A new bill introduced in Olympia would require all advertisers to notify consumers when a photo has been digitally altered.

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker hopes to help teens and young adults combat negative self-esteem and body image with this bill.

House Bill 2142, the “Beautiful You” bill, specifies that any advertisement using a photograph that has been digitally altered to change the physical characteristics of a person’s face or body be posted with a written notification to the consumer.

She shared the reasoning behind the bill in a Skype interview with Q13 News.

After coaching at the high school level for many years, she saw first-hand the dangers of negative self esteem on teens, and how that can lead to challenges later in life.

“What I’m hoping to do is let youth who see these images know that they are unrealistic and unattainable, so stop trying. Just really love you in your own body. Love who you are and where you’re at,” said Rep. Mosbrucker.

She also created a substitute bill to encourage advertisers to consider the fact that once the photos are digitally altered, they are unattainable for anyone.

“They are trying to be something that’s not even real, it’s fake.  We want people to love who they are,” said Rep. Mosbrucker.

She says the numbers are staggering when it comes to children and teens dieting and struggling with eating disorders.

“Thirty million Americans are suffering from eating disorders. That’s partially due to what they see and feel they have to try to be. We need to convert that thinking to love who you are. Be the beautiful you. We need to get this message out. It could save lives,” she said.

Her message is clear.

“There’s only one of you and you need to embrace that. Please embrace who you are because you are amazing, and perfect. You have the opportunity to change the world…don’t take risks to try and alter who you are,” she said.