London, June 30 (ANI): Magazines in Australia could now be forced to carry disclaimers on any images that have been airbrushed, as part of the government's new strategy to tackle body image and eating disorders.
Under a new code of conduct for the fashion industry, magazines must agree to refrain from heavy retouching of body parts, including the common practices of lengthening legs, removing freckles and trimming waistlines.
And if they agree to the guidelines, publications will be awarded with a "body image tick", similar to the Heart Foundation's healthy food symbol.
While the code is voluntary, it is one of most strident moves by any country to tackle the growing problem of eating disorders, which experts believe are triggered by unrealistic images of beauty found in film, fashion and advertising.
Kate Ellis, the Australian youth minister, admitted that the principles were "small steps", but said that she hoped they would help to stop the glamorisation of unhealthily thin women.
"Body image is an issue that we must take seriously because it is affecting the health and happiness of substantial sections of our community," the Telegraph quoted her as saying.
"The symbol is a win for consumers. It will empower consumers to tell the fashion, beauty, media and modelling industries what they want and provide greater choice," she stated.
The code has the approval of several high profile women's magazines in Australia and Ellis is in talks with modelling agencies in order to gain their support. (ANI)