By now your child has probably already brought home the proofs of their school pictures, and if not you may want to take a peek inside their school bag! School pictures happen every year near the start of the school year and many parents love these pictures because it allows them to see how their children have grown and changed from year to year. It's also an easy way to give family members updated pictures of your children each year as well, so it's not surprising people want their kids to look their best. One mom, however, was outraged when she discovered that her daughter's school picture company offered retouching services for kids in elementary school.
A mother by the name of Sam Walker shared her daughter's school picture order form on Twitter, seemingly shocked that the company offers retouching services at an extra cost. "The girls have their school photo today and there is the option to AIRBRUSH the picture! There are two levels offered!! What the....?! Have complained! What 8 yr old needs to be paranoid about an “uneven skin tone."
The girls have their school photo today and there is the option to AIRBRUSH the picture! There are two levels offered!! What the....?! Have complained! What 8 yr old needs to be paranoid about an “uneven skin tone” pic.twitter.com/6BGCx3FRZ9— Sam Walker (@WalkerSam) October 28, 2019
Walker told Metro US that she feared the retouching options offered by this photographer could be harmful to some children. She explained that her youngest daughter suffers from a rare auto-immune condition that results in skin lesions and has caused her teeth to discolor. She told the paper that she and her husband have worked hard to boost their daughter's confidence and would hate to see that undermined by some airbrushing. "The thought of her feeling that she should airbrush those blemishes out because she should look like everyone else…" Walker stated. "When you have a child who has some issues and so to suggest we can wipe that away you can look like everyone else is incredibly dangerous and very sad."
Walker complained to both the school and the photographer who stated that it was simply a generic form and often used for older children who may have acne. While many agreed with Walker on Twitter that it was outrageous to even offer the option of retouching, there were many who didn't see a problem with it.
"Our youngest has the bad habit of repeatedly scratching her face - so being able to remove the scabs from professional photos is a plus for us," wrote one commenter. "My son had a massive zit on his nose this year, he was very unhappy about it, puberty is hitting hard. He would have liked it brushed out (especially as he is being super good not picking at them). If he had the option and asked, I’d have said yes. No photos for family this year," wrote another.
When I was in year 8 I had impatigo on my face, these big scabbing, weeping sores. I know there are people living there best lives with more perminant things but I could have really done with an airbrush option back then, we don't know anyones life, maybe they have their reasons— Julia (@JuliaCHowie) October 28, 2019
Other school photographers even chimed in to let Walker know that her anger is misdirected and that they only offer the retouching because of the demand, although it is generally used for older children. "Hi, school photog here," began one comment. "Those are mainly aimed a the middle/high school demographic, barely ever do parents order retouching for elem. kids. The photogs and the company aren't trying to shop the hell out of your kids, it's for the kids with bad acne whose parents won't order a package if the acne isnt retouched. Plus we don't want the middle/high school kids to feel bad about their pictures in the yearbook. There's a lot of pressure on us to get good pics, please don't take out your frustration on us."
Some advised Walker to simply not select to have her images retouched if she felt so strongly about it, but others should be free to have the option if they want it. Would you have your child's school pictures retouched?