Jennifer Greene, a mother from Maryland, on Sept. 29, 2021, expressed her displeasure about a child’s school photo being retouched in a tweet because it teaches children that they must always seem flawless.
School photography business Lifetouch gave Greene’s daughter additional “retouching” services that cost $12.
The travel writer and social media administrator was enraged and complained to the company on her tweet.
“I’m going to need someone to explain to me why @Lifetouch offers PHOTO RETOUCH for KIDS school pics?!” Greene wrote. “What the hell?!”
The Maryland mother had already received the school picture package from Lifetouch, which pushed parents to pay an extra fee for portrait “retouching” services such as teeth whitening, skin-tone balancing, and blemish elimination.
“I was shocked,” Greene, 43, said according to The New York Post.
She does not want Madeline, her 12-year-old daughter, to feel anxious to appear flawless in a photo.
“I completely disagree with [retouching a child’s school picture], because 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 photography company said in a statement, “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.”
A mother of two hard-of-hearing toddlers, Whitney Rose, claimed that her 3-year-old son’s hearing aides were removed from his school photo by a photographer from another company.
“It’s sending a message to him that part of who he is, his hearing loss, is something he should be ashamed of.” Rose shared on her social media post, and it received 2.2 million views.
Yamalis Diaz, a child psychologist at NYU Langone, finds it more concerning when a child discovers that their permanent features have been altered in a photograph and no longer match what they see in the mirror.
“Instead of accepting your physical characteristics, your disability, your features, your appearance, you’re supposed to be fixing it or hiding it,” the psychologist added, “And that is a dangerous message to send.”