Mothers fury as school photo firm offers to digitally ‘retouch’ class pictures for kids as young as four

MOTHERS have slammed a school for offering to 'digitally retouch' pictures of kids as young as four.

Jennifer Greene, 43, said she was "shocked" by the service, which is available to pre-kindergarten students.

Greene's was angered when she opened the school picture package for her 12-year-old daughter, Madeline, from photography company Lifetouch.

It urged parents to lay out an extra $12 for portrait “retouching” services, including teeth whitening, skin-tone evening and blemish removal, the New York Post reports.

Greene, from Maryland, said she was “shocked” and "completely disagreed” with the idea.

She said: “It’s teaching kids that they need to look perfect all the time and that they can change a perceived flaw with the click of a mouse."

The travel blogger and social media administrator also slammed the company on Twitter.

“I’m going to need someone to explain to me why @Lifetouch offers PHOTO RETOUCH for KIDS school pics?! What the hell?!” 

Last November, another mother, Kristin Loerns, was stunned when she received her son Kieran’s school photos – with his adorable freckles removed.

“I gave permission for ‘basic retouching,’ which would be removing blemishes, and they removed all of his freckles instead,” the 36-year-old blogger and photographer told The Post.

Another mother, Whitney Rose, went viral on TikTok after sharing a video in which she claimed her three-year-old son's hearing aids had been edited out from school pictures.

She claimed the editing was sending the message that her son's hearing loss was something he should be ashamed of.

“My son's hearing aids were photoshopped out of his school photos. Is he ok right now? Technically yes, he's 3 years old, he doesn't understand what it means,' Rose said.

“Does it really matter if it's edited or not? Absolutely. How would you like it if somebody edited your nose off your face?

"That's kind of part of you. It's crucial to you in your development.”


Reacting to Rose’s story, Rebecca Beams, a graphic designer, said: "This is so wrong!

“As a graphic designer, we learned photo editing and were taught to never take away anything that made the person unique."

Child psychologist Yamalis Diaz said children are yet to develop a deep understanding of themselves so seeing their faces and bodies retouched in pictures could be damaging for their self-image.

“Could that start to make them feel inadequate?,” she said.

“Can that lead to some anxiety and depressed mood, eating disorders, body dysmorphia? Absolutely.”

In a statement, Lifetouch said, “Our goal is always to authentically capture each child we photograph. 

“Photo retouch is an entirely opt-in service that customers choose to add on to photo packages.

“Most, if not all, school photography companies offer this service and it’s an expectation as an available option for schools.”

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