School photographers are getting blasted this picture season as parents question the wisdom of offering a retouch option for young children.

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Offering retouching services on school photos isn’t a new concept, but recently, parents who have taken to social media to express their concern over the option have gotten the public’s attention. One mother even claimed that the photographer who took her 3-year-old’s school pictures edited out his hearing aids.

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“I’d be livid,” reads a comment on the video. “I specifically ask for no retouching on my kids photos. This is who they are—they don’t need to be airbrushed.”

But apparently the photography companies don’t always agree. While @thesedeafkidsrock didn’t specify who took the photos of her son, several other parents have turned their frustrations on Lifetouch for offering retouching services.

Kristin Loe said that the company edited out her son’s freckles last year, as part of their offering to remove “blemishes.”

Loe complained and Lifetouch re-edited the pictures, but some have questioned why these services are being offered at all for young children.

“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,” Jennifer Greene (@traveljenn) told the New York Post.

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In a statement, Lifetouch offered a reminder that the retouching option is just that — an option. But concerns have also been raised that even well-meaning parents who opt into the service may end up creating some unnecessary complications for their children’s expectations of themselves. Then again, with all the filters social media services offer to get closer to “perfection,” even if kids manage to dodge those image-based insecurities in elementary school, it likely won’t be long until they creep in from the outside world all the same.

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*First Published: October 28, 2021, 5:36 am