A Taiwanese model’s life is ruined by an internet meme created by a plastic surgery advertising agency (BBC). I had seen the photo recently, paraded as “Husband divorces wife for ugly children” (like this website).
I’ll admit that my initial reaction was less than nice to her. It was also a sexist headline, too, saying nothing about the man. However, I didn’t have a vital piece of information: They are all models, not even related to each other, doing a job for an advertising agency; and that her looks are indeed natural. Besides, someone famous once said, “You can’t believe everything you see on the internet” – Abraham Lincoln, 1868. The tragedy is that this model has lost work, and now mentally suffers much anguish from public opinion of her personally. She was a model, hired to do a job, and she did it. The advertising agency conceived of the concept, and chose the people, and the caption. Just how much creative control did the models have? None. Also, how are the children doing? They have been labelled as being ‘ugly’. How are they getting on at school?
So, what went wrong? The advertising agency should never have chosen this caption and concept. The advertisement should have treated the models with far more respect. Consequently, I think I would never agree to modelling for a plastic surgery ad, and I’m sure most female models would now avoid such a job. Also, the issue with Royalty Free images (RF) is that the model and photographer both have no control over the images once it’s sold. Whereas, there is a lot more control over Rights Managed photos, but still there is no control once an image is lost to the internet.