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December 6, 2019
A Sincere Apology. Always Learning.
Our mission here at Fig is to lift up small businesses and tell their story, presenting each and everyone in their very best light.
I’m writing today to talk about something we got wrong with a dear advertiser. We made a mistake, and it’s important that we address it. It’s important because we acted in a way that was upsetting to a client. It’s also important because it is symptomatic of a larger problem with society’s expectations regarding women and their bodies—and that is a problem that we want to help correct, not perpetuate.
Having worked in the cosmetic and fragrance industry in NYC, I know all too well the pressures put on women and on brands to represent perfection. When moving back to Lancaster, I wanted to create something that authentically portrayed real people. They would look their best but they would be uniquely honored for what they do, not how they look. The people you see in Fig are real people who put their heart and soul into their work. We tell their stories and ask you to support their passions.
Part of this comes through our photography, which strives to honor each and every person, capturing and conveying the true essence of who they are. We are known and highly regarded for the quality of our images, and take seriously the responsibility to represent you on our pages and platforms.
With regard to photo retouching, aside from specific client requests, our policy is that we remove anything that is distracting to the eye: blemishes, exit signs, debris, wrinkles in clothing. A photo may be softened if lighting is harsh. But we do not independently elect to make an alteration to someone’s body.
We recently made a photo decision that impacted our dear friend, Marie, owner of Move It Studio. A final review of Marie’s photo with a photo editing tool modified her image on the page, and she did not have the opportunity to see and comment on the photo before it was printed. Without her approval, this became a decision that moved beyond the guidelines stated above and even though the final image did not make her look unhealthy, both of us are choosing to be upfront about it to stay true to our shared business values.
When she discovered the edited image, Marie expressed her sincere disappointment to me. We had an open and frank conversation about her feelings—as well as her mission and Manifesto on body acceptance, which promotes loving ourselves fully, as we are. Fig’s choice to print the altered image goes against the very root of what Marie believes in, and it needed to be addressed. I was and am thankful to Marie that she brought it to my attention. And I am truly sorry for the mistake.
Fig is a platform for positivity, and we want to embrace that fully. That means shining a light on the beauty that our communities hold—and that needs no retouching or enhancement.
We made a mistake, and we are sorry. I promise to learn from this and to always strive to do better.
-Deb Brandt and the Fig Team