CVS To Stop Altering Photos For Beauty Products: CVS Beauty Mark To Counter Unrealistic Body Images


In the midst of the powerful #metoo movement that has been rapidly gaining ground, CVS has vowed to stop materially altering images for beauty products.

The fashion industry has long been criticized for setting unrealistic body and image standards that can have a negative impact on girls and young women. However, the practice is still widely used to sell various products for women.

CVS To Stop Materially Altering Photos

Airbrushing beauty images to make them unrealistically perfect is still common practice, but CVS is stepping away from it. The U.S. pharmaceutical company said it will no longer use materially altered photos to present its beauty products in marketing materials, in stores, or online.

Come April, the photos women see when checking out a CVS-brand moisturizer, lipstick, or some other product will not be retouched to make them look smoother, color-corrected, or otherwise significantly altered. This aims to prevent the shopper from feeling insecure when faced with an unrealistically perfect image.

New CVS Standards For Post-Production Alteration

As part of its new bid to combat unrealistic body images, CVS is setting new standards for post-production alterations and requiring more transparency for materially altered beauty images. These standards and increased transparency will have to be in place by the end of 2020.

Helena Foulkes, CVS Pharmacy president and CVS Health EVP, says that the company has to carefully consider what message it sends to its customers.

"The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established," says Foulkes. "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."

CVS Beauty Mark

In the name of that transparency it seeks, the company will implement the "CVS Beauty Mark." This watermark will appear on images that present no material alterations.

For this delimitation, CVS considers various changes as material alterations: modifying the model's shape, size, eye or skin color, proportion, wrinkles, or other individual characteristics.

To ensure transparency and consistency, CVS Pharmacy will collaborate with industry experts as well as key brand partners to develop clear and specific guidelines.

With these new efforts, customers should be able to more easily distinguish between materially altered photos and authentic ones. Beauty images from CVS Pharmacy will start displaying the CVS Beauty Mark in 2018. The company, however, wants to have the watermark on all images featured in CVS Pharmacy stores beauty sections by the end of 2020.

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