The Airbrushing Debate
Airbrushing images has become a staple of advertising in today’s media world. Is there a line that needs to be set for advertisers to follow? Or how far will it go before the public cries foul?
The article, Is airbrushing in magazines and advertising out of control? (Leesong, Lumby, Moss, Swinson, 2011), four viewpoints are presented on how to approach the airbrushing issue. I side most with the opinion of Daniel Leesong. Leesong is the lone advertiser of the group and gives the viewpoint from that of an advertiser.
Leesong suggests airbrushing images is fine—but should be done in moderation. This approach most resembles that of Confucius’s Golden Mean. The extremes of the airbrushing issue are either airbrushing every photo to the most extreme measure so every picture is “perfect” or never airbrushing a photo and just placing the picture in the ad without any corrections.
Leesong aligns with this principle almost immediately in the article. Leesong (2011) says, “Like most things, it’s about moderation. Some airbrushing is essential to get the best quality production possible, while overuse leaves a plastic effect that does not endear an image to its audience.”
Advertisements should reflect reality. Obviously, they cannot be exact, but Leesong suggests making small adjustments does not change the integrity of the photo as long as it is not overdone. If an advertisement shows a result that is not possible after using the product, it should not be produced. Leesong (2011) also mentions that all airbrushing should be done “in line with industry codes.” This shows that the codes of ethics in the industry play a vital role in the airbrushing debate.
Leesong, D., Lumby, C., Moss, T., & Swinson, J. (2011, August 6). Is airbrushing in magazines and advertisements out of control? Retrieved February 25, 2016, from http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/the-question/is-airbrushing-in-magazines-and-advertisements-out-of-control-20110805-1if23.html