September 29th, 2016

Redditch school supplier calls for ban on airbrushing school photos

Redditch school supplier calls for ban on airbrushing school photos Redditch school supplier calls for ban on airbrushing school photos

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.”