Target's Swimwear Ads Are Photoshop-Free

It's that time of year when the weather starts to get warmer, and people are dreaming of the beach. And with that Target just recently debuted their latest swim ad campaign. The ad is filled with swimsuit models who represent a wide range of body types and ethnicities. The best part about these swimsuit ads is that the models are fully unretouched, showing each girl’s lovely curves and stretch marks just as they are. This campaign is Target's most empowering ad campaign to date. The ads feature four separate models; the Target ad celebrates positive body image in the best way possible. The swimsuit models wear bright bikinis that have cutouts, crochet detailing, crisscrossed chest detailing, and more. This ad campaign is a refreshing way to advertise and a chance to embrace the diversity of the world, a way for women to relate to the models and see that beauty comes in all shapes, and sizes. There’s no better way to show off a woman’s beautiful figure than in a series of swimsuit ads. Hopefully, this swimsuit campaign is just the start of much more for the company. And with this campaign maybe a start to other companies following suit.

Using Photoshop for advertising campaigns has been a controversial issue for years. There are many people who argue that media and ad campaigns might be linked to eating disorders. There is something to be considered when people, especially youth are on a constant basis exposed to perfect images on a continual basis. These are complicated psychological and sociological issues, and media may help to influence these problems. Just as there have been questions about the connection between violence on television and childhood aggression, or between cigarette ads and adolescent smoking, there needs to be more research to know how to move forward on the cultural impact of Photoshop. With more and more countries putting warning labels on the advertising to say that the photo has been digitally altered.

Photoshopping photos has changed the photography, fashion, and advertising industry faster than legislation has kept up. In the United States, there have been truth-in-advertising laws for a hundred years, but laws have been slow to respond to image retouching. But that’s starting to change. In countries around the world, legislators and regulators are now beginning to take action with laws being passed, like the Photoshop Law in Israel which requires that their models need to be 18.5 BMI and for advertisers to label retouched images. Lawmakers and enforcers are motivated by unrealistic depictions of the female body, and the potential harm that retouched images may cause to the self-esteem of impressionable youth. The influential American Medical Association released a statement in 2011 that condemned excessive image alteration.

Photoshopping and airbrushing is believed by many to be an inherent part of the beauty industry, as are lighting, makeup, and styling. Many believe photography is a creative art, a freedom not to be denied for any reason, regardless of its psychological or physical impact. Ultimately, it is hard to know where to draw the line between what requires regulation and what is part of the artistic process. But what is clear is the need to relieve youth of the pressure they feel when it comes to their bodies. It is important to question the unrealistic goals that are set not only by the distorted images in magazines and ads but by those promoted through celebrity makeovers, celebrity rumors, reality shows and parents who undergo radical transformations through plastic surgery. The Target ads are certainly a step in the right direction. This is just one of the stories trending on the Teen Vogue site. Other stories you will find include fashion, today's top celebrity news, beauty, wellness, celebrity rumors and more. **

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