Mom Calls Out School Photographer’s Offensive Retouching Options for Kids

A mom on Twitter is putting a school photographer on blast for asking parents if they wanted “uneven skin tone” and “blemishes” retouched on their kids’ photos, Fatherly reports.

Arizona-based mom Sam Walker’s daughters attend the same school and were both set to get their school photos taken on October 28. Sam posted the order form because she was utterly shocked and offended by one section.

“The girls have their school photo today and there is the option to AIRBRUSH the picture! There are two levels offered!! What the…?! [I] have complained! What 8-year-old needs to be paranoid about ‘uneven skin tone?’” she wrote.

According to the form, the photography company offers Basic Retouching, which removes blemishes, and Premium Retouching, which will also whitens teeth and evens skin tone.

In a reply, Sam revealed that her youngest daughter has mastocytosis, a condition characterized by skin lesions, and “would never dream of airbrushing her skin to look ‘perfect.'”

But as her original tweet implies, even though the forms are meant for the parents, kids might read the retouching section when passing them to their moms and dads. Knowing that’s an offering could make them feel insecure.

Replying to the tweet, which now has over 13,000 likes, many expressed their disgust with the retouching options, calling them “awful” and “horrific.” Many felt that retouching makes school photos less authentic and sends the wrong message to kids. “This is appalling. My daughter has 9 percent full thickness burns and we have never attempted to hide her scars in photos. We just taught her that she is amazing as she is,” wrote one parent. “The ENTIRE point of grade school photos is that you look back and laugh at how goofy and well, institutional, they look! I love the horrible lighting and flaws captured at Valentine Elementary School in San Marino, CA! Just BE kids!” wrote another user.

Some, however, felt the school should be given the benefit of the doubt, including one user who replied, “This probably has nothing to do with the school. It’ll be a private company offering the photo service. Chances are the school hasn’t noticed what’s on the form and would be appalled if they knew. Don’t rush to blame the school. Schools get enough of that as it is!”

Let’s hope that now that the tweet has gone viral, the school will now take note—and make changes accordingly.