Norway bans influencers from retouching their photos

The applauded law imposes fines for those who edit and retouch images without declaring it

Mar Bermúdez i Jiménez
2 min
Image of the impact that photo retouching can have.

BarcelonaNorway bans influencers from retouching their photos. As of this Thursday, in the Nordic country, an influencer will have to declare if their figure or features have been edited and if they have used a filter through a government-approved label. The law passed by the Norwegian Ministry of Children and Equality on Thursday also establishes the tag system for conventional advertisements. The rule applies to photographs in which body measurements have been edited, for example height or leg length, shape, such as making the lips thicker or the waist more pronounced, or skin colour. Also those in which a filter has been used. Failure to tag will carry penalties ranging from fines to possible imprisonment.

The digital community has widely applauded the measure that aims to end the false ideal of beauty created and promoted by misleading advertising on social networks, in part, through the it girls that young women are internalizing. The law will apply to promotional images on the most important social networks, such as Twitter and TikTok, as well as on the pages of newspapers, magazines and billboards across the country.

In an interview with local newspaper Verdens Gang, the norwegian influencer Annijor Jørgensen commented on the legislation and the positive impact it could have. She criticizes that filters should not be used for "creating a false ideal of beauty". For her, "filters are something that should be fun". There is, however, some confusion, since the law does not specify anything about light settings or saturation of the photos, which can lighten the color of the skin, for example.

Norwegian fashion influencer @annjor in an unretouched post from her account


Norway isn't the only country to have such legislation. In February, in the UK, makeup artist and model Sha Pallaris, well known in the country, pushed the hashtag #filterdrop, through which she denounced brands and models for using beauty filters to sell their products. "Stop filtering your skin to sell", she wrote in one of the retouched images. The attitude of change of the makeup artist was generated by the findings of a survey conducted by Girlguiding in which it was stated that a third of girls and young women seek to change their appearance through the use of filters. As a result of this movement in the networks, the British authority in charge of advertising self-control, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), banned the use of beauty filters to the influencers and brands that take advantage of them.

In France, a law that came into force in 2017 also requires fashion and other publications to indicate when a photoshopped image is being displayed. The regulation, in this case, also obliges models to be healthy and of the correct weight. Spain does not have legislation per se that regulates the use of Photoshop or other similar programs, but a mention of these aspects is included in the law on advertising and illegal advertising.