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Anti-Photoshopping Campaign Heads to Capitol Hill

Former ad man and father of two Seth Matlins is taking his crusade against Photoshopped ads to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Former ad man and father of two Seth Matlins is taking his crusade against Photoshopped ads to Capitol Hill Wednesday. The advocate plans to deliver a Change.org-backed petition seeking federal oversight of extreme Photoshopping in ads to Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL27) and Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA24) at an event there that day.

The two politicans introduced the Truth in Advertising Act bill eight weeks ago. Matlins started working on the Truth in Advertising Act almost three years ago with his partners at the Eating Disorders Coalition and Brave Girls Alliance. Since then, his campaign has collected 20,000-plus signatures in support. He will also deliver copies of the petition and signatures to the Federal Trade Commission, which is also considering the legislation.

The petition claims that Photoshopping creates “false and unrealistic expectations of what our kids can and should look like.”It also states without identifying the source that 53 percent of 13-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies and by the time they are 17, that figure will be 78 percent. Boys are also impacted, with 16 percent of high school boys suffering from eating disorders.

Matlins said, “I’ve spent my entire career in and around advertising, and I know that advertising works. I also know that that beyond influencing what we buy, advertising sells attitudes, expectations, values, and so-called norms.”

Ros-Lehtinen and Capps will both speak at the 1:30 p.m. event on the House Triangle, as will Matlins. Matlins, Ros-Lehtinen, and Capps will be flanked by posters illustrating excessive Photoshop use, which they say contributes to one of the most significant public health crises in the US, adding to emotional, mental and physical health consequences including eating disorders.

Organizers said they plan to display Photoshopped ads from Ralph Lauren and Candies including the Ralph Lauren one of Filippa Hamilton with a super-cinched waistline that is also featured on the Change.org peition.