'Perfect' School Photos, But at What Cost?

Digital retouching for young kids may warp developing body image
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 11:52 AM CST
'Perfect' School Photos, But at What Cost?
More and more studios are inviting parents to have their children's school photos touched up for digital perfection.   (Shutterstock.com)

Popular and inexpensive digital retouching of school photos has some parents concerned about the effects on kids’ sense of body image, Newsweek reports. Clients for retouching services—powdering complexions, whitening teeth, reshaping eyebrows and so forth—are getting younger and younger, creating, one historian says, "a culture of kids who are being socialized to unrealistic images."

Although retouching photos is just one aspect of it, the effects of that culture are widely apparent: 42% of first-grade girls want to be thinner, Newsweek reports, and 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of getting fat. “Kids these days are acutely aware of body image from the get-go," says one economics professor. (Read more photography stories.)

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