Campaigner takes aim at mag's airbrushing

By Amelia Wade

Jessica Barlow hopes her Australian bid to stop airbrushing in women's magazines will take effect in New Zealand. Photo / Supplied
Jessica Barlow hopes her Australian bid to stop airbrushing in women's magazines will take effect in New Zealand. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand magazine Cleo is under pressure to stop airbrushing photographs, and a petition against the practice has collected more than 18,000 signatures.

Jessica Barlow, from Melbourne, started the protest believing that altered images of models were sending the wrong messages to vulnerable teenagers.

The 20-year-old's protest, called the Brainwash Project, is aimed at the Australian and New Zealand versions of the magazine.

"Cleo is a starting point. I chose them because they were a magazine that I read the most when I was a teenager and I think it would be really great to see them take the lead on this issue," Miss Barlow said.

"Hopefully they'll mirror whatever happens here in Australia in the New Zealand issue."

Miss Barlow said that while the magazine's target audience was aged 18 to 25, girls started reading it at much younger ages.

She wanted the magazine to at least put warning labels on retouched images - a policy followed by Girlfriend and Dolly magazines.

If she's successful, Miss Barlow will set her sights higher and ask the major international women's magazine, Cosmopolitan, to stop airbrushing.

The editor of Cleo New Zealand, Pamela Marker, said the magazine was likely to adopt any policy change on the Australian version.

Marker said it was considering warning labels on retouched images or "Photoshop-free" zones in its pages.

On the web

Online petition: chn.ge/N1SwJT

- NZ Herald

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