CVS Pharmacy will begin labeling photos of models in its beauty aisles to show its customers which images have been digitally enhanced and which have been left unaltered. They’re calling this move towards transparency “the CVS Beauty Mark.”
According to the CVS website, “70 percent of the beauty images in stores will be Beauty Mark compliant, meaning either they have not been retouched or they are labeled as altered,” and the company’s goal is to increase that number to 100 percent by 2020. Will anyone even notice? In the company’s official announcement, CVS notes: “We will not digitally alter or change a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color or enhance or alter lines, wrinkles or other individual characteristics.” CVS’s marketing initiative extends only to “beauty imagery” they create for their own stores and not to brands they carry, like CoverGirl or Revlon. They note, however, that “they are working with brand partners to ensure that any imagery they use that has been altered is visibly labeled as such.”
The “beauty marks” will look the images below, unedited images labeled “beauty unaltered” and edited images labeled “digitally altered”:
“Edited” and “unedited” would’ve sufficed, pals! Or a decision just to use unaltered photographs would have been even better!
According to Reuters, Kerry Washington is involved with the initiative. She told the news outlet:
“I know firsthand what it looks like to wake up in the morning and look at the cover of a magazine and say, ‘Who is that? Why did some person at a computer change the shape of my face to appease their own idea of what I should look like when that is not who I am?’”
I hate when that happens.
Before we go cheerleading this move as another step towards a healthier, inclusive world, let’s note that Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy, told Reuters he expects the Beauty Mark initiative to “attract more millennial shoppers.” It’s not about making you feel better or showing models as they really are, it’s about appealing to a misguided sense of authenticity and beauty. Happy shopping!