CVS Now Has a Zero-Retouching Policy for All Its Beauty Campaign Imagery

Updated 01/17/18

It's no secret that the media has a massive impact on what society defines as "beautiful". It's changed over time, but most recently, it's been a strict and exclusive definition. Clearly, that's dangerous at worst and extremely problematic at best. Not to be extra cheesy like our favorite pizza order, but there is no definition of beauty. We all know that, right?

We love when beauty brands confront this head-on by casting a diverse set of models and influencers in their campaigns. We also love when these brands, models, and influencers commit to transparency in their photos. Take Emily Ratajkowski, for example. She called out a magazine for photoshopping her image—telling her followers, "I was extremely disappointed to see my lips and breasts altered in photoshop on this cover. I hope the fashion industry will finally learn to stop trying to stifle the things that make us unique and instead begin to celebrate individuality."

Other brands like Aerie, ModCloth, and Dove have committed to zero photo retouching. (Because what's wrong with stretch marks or wrinkles? Seriously though.) The newest brand to commit to doing away with Photoshop and retouching is one of our favorite drugstore beauty retailers. We're talking about CVS. 

The brand posted this image on Instagram showing the Beauty Mark logo, the little symbol that will sit at the bottom of all its unaltered beauty imagery in stores and online. The brand captioned it, "The CVS Beauty Mark supports a more positive self image in women and girls by promoting more realistic beauty imagery." Support is already rolling in. One commenter wrote "Thank you so much for this bold move! You are forging the way for more change!" In between countless "bravos" and "great jobs," another follower wrote, "you are now my only drug store!"

The retail giant just announced this change and promises to require transparency on all images that have been materially altered by 2020. As for what constitutes "materially altered," the brand defines it as "changing or enhancing a person's shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics."

CVS Pharmacy

Above, you can see an image comparison. The first photo shows a retouched image, while the second one shows the original (notice the "Beauty Mark" in the corner).

"As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day," said Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health in a press release. "The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health."

We applaud this undertaking, as comparing ourselves to Photoshopped images isn't healthy for our mental or physical states. We hope this is a trend that continues. After all, who really cares about wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, or anything else for that matter? We just want to be inspired by beauty looks from real women.

Related Stories