The actress Jameela Jamil, best known for her role in US TV series The Good Place, says airbrushing is a crime against women and should be illegal.

She’s one of this year’s BBC 100 Women and has also started @i_weigh – a social media initiative designed for people to share what makes them unique and valuable, outside of their appearance.

I would like to put airbrushing in the bin. I want it gone. I want it out of here.

I think it’s a disgusting tool that has been weaponised, predominantly against women, and is responsible for so many more problems than we realise because we are blinded by the media, our culture and our society.

I suffered from eating disorders as a teenager and so I know how damaging ‘perfect’ images in magazines can be.

Here are the reasons why I want to have it banned:

It’s a lie to the consumer

If you buy the products airbrushing is used to advertise, you won’t look like the person in the photograph.

It’s used to smooth lines, hide blemishes, lighten skin, slim features, lengthen limbs, and brighten eyes and teeth.

It exists to sell a fantasy to the consumer that this ‘perfection’ is indeed possible. If you have yet to achieve this beauty standard, it tells you, you should buy some expensive products immediately, because then you will look like the person in the photo. (But, as I said just a moment ago, you won’t.)

How is this ethical or even legal?

It’s bad for the person being photographed

If you see a digitally ‘enhanced’ picture of yourself, you run the risk of becoming acclimatised to that level of flawlessness and it makes it harder for you to accept your actual image – the one that exists in real life, in the mirror.

You then might want to take measures to match what is achieved on the screen.

Often this is only achievable with expensive, painful and often risky cosmetic procedures or surgery.

Filters and digital editing have almost certainly contributed to the fact so many of the women I know have turned to needles, knives and extreme diets to try to match their online avatar.

– Jameela Jamil

Read more: Jameela Jamil on why Airbrushing Should Be Illegal

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons