A REDDITCH-based school supplier is calling for a ban on airbrushing images of primary school children following a recent outcry over the ‘retouching’ of traditional school photographs.
Fizz Group, which provides school memorabilia items including yearbooks, hoodies and school photography, is calling for UK photographic firms to take a ‘morally responsible lead on airbrushing’ – by refusing to allow it as an image-altering service.
The company’s stance comes after mother Alexandria Norman’s fury at being offered the opportunity, for an additional cost, to ‘re-touch’ school photos of her eight-year-old daughter Blake, taken by Hampshire-based photography firm Yellow.
Alexandria accused the photography firm of ‘stealing the innocence of school pictures, threatening a positive body image and sending out the wrong message to children’.
And Fizz Group, which refuses to airbrush photos under any circumstances, agrees with her.
Adam McGill, managing director, said: “I think this is ultimately a very bad judgement in the pursuit of a little extra profit – it shouldn’t be an option.
“What kind of message are we sending to our children if we are telling them that a photo is only acceptable, or ‘more acceptable’, if it is showing them blemish free and air-brushed?
“Everything about each child makes them who they are – their hair colour, skin colour, shape of their nose, birth marks and blemishes.
“If we alter this, we are altering their identity -there is no need, in my view, to consider ‘correcting’ an image – it shouldn’t be an option. ”
Adam, who started Fizz Group at just 17-years-old, added that the company does not airbrush under any circumstances and he thinks it is important that the whole industry follows his lead.
“By sending out a collective message that airbrushing at such a young age is wrong, we have a real opportunity to make a positive impact on future generations,” he added.
“For me the whole purpose of a school portrait is to capture the child, and the way they look in that year for posterity – we should celebrate these individual nuances and differences, not try to erase them in pursuit of some picture perfect image.”