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Here's why you may never see another Photoshopped ad again

ModCloth supports the Truth in Advertising Act, which would regulate altered images in ads — and mean big changes for the industry.
/ Source: TODAY

It's hard to escape the effects of Photoshop today — from airbrushed magazine covers to singers whose waists are whittled down in music videos, to models whose arms and legs are thinned and tanned to better sell dresses or handbags. Digital alterations of the human body have become ubiquitous.

But perhaps that's about to change.

Online retailer ModCloth, which has long been a proponent of featuring real bodies, as in ones that haven't been airbrushed or digitally altered in its advertising, has taken its fight against Photoshop to Washington, D.C.

ModCloth co-founder Susan Gregg Koger joined U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif., at an event last week on Capitol Hill to raise awareness of the Truth in Advertising Act, a bill that calls for the Federal Trade Commission to regulate airbrushing, Photoshopping and generally changing models' appearances in advertisements.

ModCloth co-founder Susan Gregg Koger (right) with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (center) and moderator Frances Holuba of POLITICO (left).ModCloth

ModCloth is asking fans and customers to help by writing letters to their representatives, encouraging them to support the bill.

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Koger told TODAY Style the event, meant to get people talking about the bill, was "inspiring."

"We had a great turnout and the feeling in the room was nothing short of electric," she said. "We are excited about tapping into our ModCloth community as a way to potentially impact change with the letter writing campaign.

"I think everyone in the room felt the tide is turning, and that public perception of these images is no longer aspirational — they are unwelcome," she continued.

A ModCloth ad. The retailer is pushing for regulation of altered images in advertising.ModCloth

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If the bill becomes law, it would mean big changes for the fashion and advertising industries, which are often beleaguered by accusations of whitewashing black celebrities' faces, or making models appear thinner or more voluptuous. Remember Target's awful thigh gap controversy? Or the time L'Oreal was accused of lightening Beyoncé's skin in an ad?

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ModCloth is the first retailer to take action in such a huge way. The company first got behind the act when it was introduced in 2014, even becoming the first retailer to sign a no-Photoshop pledge.

Want to know more about the Truth in Advertising Act? You can read the bill in its entirety here.