Just like you are what you eat, what you see affects your mental health
How do we challenge the way we currently consume imagery and interact with social media?
How do we make the public more conscious of their visual diet?
Imagery, like anything else, can be healthy or harmful, addictive or nutritious. And now, more so than ever, this has become a massive issue with the huge cultural impact of social media. This statement was first made by our founder Marine Tanguy during her TEDx Talk 'How social media visuals affect our mind?'. One day she decided to do a test. She posted a picture of her bottom in a bikini to her 24,000 Instagram followers. The post received 75% more views than usual – and most of the viewers were other women.
"Imagine if I was a 16-year-old girl. What would this tell me? It would tell me that my body is more valued than anything I could say, more valuable than, say, posting my exam results. Quite possibly it would mean I would put up more photos of my body to increase my profile."
Tanguy pointed out that we live in a world where Kim Kardashian has 70 times more Instagram followers than the Louvre. Why does that matter? "Because she is producing overwhelmingly narcissistic, self-objectifying, highly sexualised imagery. She’s promoting unrealistic beauty standards, rather than enriching visual art, which is what the Louvre offers. We have a responsibility for who our role models are. We are the ones creating the demand for this narcissistic visual content. We are the ones to blame." This is why Marine Tanguy founded MTArt Agency. While the art world concentrates on selling art on walls for a few, the agency focuses on investing in the top artists who could inspire everyone, with a content that is inspiring and valuable to all.
"My hope for art is that it will supply visual content that will change people’s philosophies, shake them up rather than keep them in their little bubbles as social media does. Art books always provided me with a way to escape my own routine; they quickly became my door to new intellectual worlds full of exciting new ideas that were striking visually. And the point of what I do is to promote artists who do just that."
Teaming up with M&C Saatchi advertising agency & Rankin photographer, the three partners launched an initiative to see whether what we visually consume is as impactful as it what we physically do. Visual Diet was the outcome of this question, delving into the abundance of images and the stream of infinite content to see how it all affects us. Aiming to promote a balanced visual diet, the campaign hopes to "prevent our audience binging on overly-processed, body- and mind-negative content."
YOU ARE WHAT YOU SEE // We are force-fed tens of thousands of images every day. Many of these homogenous, hyper- retouched, sexually gratuitous and highly addictive. We want to make people aware that, just like you are what you eat, what you see affects your mental health.
PARTNERS MUST ASPIRE TO CONTRIBUTE TO IMAGE CULTURE BY IMPROVING THE VISUAL LANDSCAPE. PARTNERS SHOULD SEEK TO INSPIRE THEIR AUDIENCE AND PROMOTE NOURISHING CONTENT THAT IS BODY AND MIND-POSITIVE.
CONTENT MUST NOT BE DEFAMATORY, RACIST, SEXIST, NOR MISREPRESENTATIVE OF ITS SUBJECT GROUP.
PARTNERS SHOULD SEEK TO CAST FROM A DIVERSE RANGE OF MODELS AS FAR AS IS POSSIBLE AND RELEVANT TO THEIR AUDIENCE, THIS SHOULD INCLUDE ALL GENDERS INCLUSIVE OF NON-BINARY, ALL AGES, BODY-SHAPES, SKIN TYPES, ETHNICITIES AND HANDICAPS. WHEN TEAMING WITH MODELS/"INFLUENCERS"/SOCIAL PUBLISHERS SHOULD ENSURE THAT THESE PARTIES BE VISUALLY RESPONSIBLE ROLE MODELS. SEE TALENT GUIDELINES.
MAKE-UP ARTISTS/GROOMERS MUST BE VISUALLY RESPONSIBLE, MUST AUTHENTICALLY REPRESENT THE TALENT AND BRAND IN LINE WITH THE BRAND VALUES/MESSAGING.
PARTNERS MUST NOT EMPLOY RETOUCHING FOR THE PURPOSE OF PORTRAYING "PERFECTION" THAT IS MIS-REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SUBJECT. IE. SKIN LIGHTENED, BLEMISHES REMOVED WITHOUT EXPRESS PREMISSION OR REQUEST, FEATURES OR WEIGHT ALTERED IN ANY WAY THAT COULD PROMOTE A NEGATIVE BODY IMAGE IN THE TALENT OR THE VIEWER. IE. CELLULITE REMOVED, FIGURE CHANGED, SHRUNK: MADE SMALLER, FEATURES ALTERED IN A WAY THAT REPRESENTS ETHNIC BIAS: EYES ENLARGED, NOSE MADE SMALLER, SCARS REMOVED WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION OR REQUEST FROM TALENT...
1. The talent shall seek to inspire visually - that is, posting visual content that is meaningful, nourishing and aspirational. The talent shall avoid to post too much narcissistic and sexually
based shots of himself/herself.
2. The image of the talent shall be asauthentic as possible - while we understand that the talent cannot avoid basic airbrushing on press interviews or shoots, we expect to see few filters across his/her social media platforms.
3. The talent shall carry a socially positive message - examples include: female empowerment, human rights etc.
4. The talent shall regularly communicate this message across his/her social platforms, on press and (when it applies - music, film or art) in his/her works.
5. We expect the talent to also be authentic in how he/she records his/her life, that is, sharing challenges and behind the scenes regularly to give as much context to our youth as possible.
Ultimately, we wish for the talent to be an inspiring role model to our youth, someone who believes and shares core values while they work hard to make our visual landscape a much better place.
Visual Diet believes that is our role to post content that inspires, not harms, and our top influencers or the faces that the brands choose to identify themselves with, shall reflect this.
Feeling inspired? Get in touch to commission a project with us or partner with an existing one: firstname.lastname@example.org.