Legislators in Norway have announced new regulations that will make it a legal requirement for influencers and advertisers to label images that have been retouched or have filters in a bid to address “body pressure in society.”
The new law is an amendment to the 2009 Marketing Act and was passed with overwhelming support, in a 72–15 vote last month by the Norwegian Parliament.
It is the latest development following years of advocacy from youth groups and Norway’s Ministry of Children and Family Affairs calling for stricter measures to address growing concerns around body image and mental health.
In its assessment of the current climate, the department expressed concerns about a culture that was creating “social insecurity” by contributing to low-self esteem.
The soon-to-be-introduced law will require that advertising and sponsored posts where “a body's shape, size or skin has been changed by retouching or other manipulation” be clearly marked to declare that it had been edited. Failure to comply will result in a fine.
As reported in Vice, the law included enlarged lips, pronounced muscles, and narrowed waists as examples of edits that will require declaration when the law comes into effect.
Preliminary research presented by the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs claimed that more than half of 10th-grade girls in the Oslo School were struggling with their mental health and that anorexia was the third most common cause of death among young girls.
“Young people are exposed to a massive pressure to look good through, among other things, advertising and social media, and the models that are shown are often digitally retouched. This exposes young people to an ideal of beauty that is impossible to achieve,” said the department in its proposal.
The law, which has already received the support of some influencers, will apply on all major social media platforms including Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok and come into effect as directed by Norway’s monarch.