CVS Pharmacy bans digital manipulations in its beauty photos

Jan 16, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

CVS Pharmacy bans digital manipulations in its beauty photos

Jan 16, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, has announced changes in its standards for beauty photos. The company is requiring transparency in all beauty photos created for stores, online promotion and all types of marketing material. By 2020, the company will implement its new standards and clearly mark all photos that haven’t been digitally altered.

By 2020, all photos that haven’t been “materially altered” will be marked by the “CVS Beauty Mark.” The company explains what it means by “materially altered” as “changing or enhancing a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.”

Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President of CVS Health, says:

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.

CVS’ initiative has two main goals. One is to create a positive change when it comes to transparency in beauty images. The other goal is to “allow customers to differentiate between authentic and materially altered imagery.” The CVS Beauty Mark will start to appear on CVS Pharmacy’s products as early as in 2018. Additionally, its goal is that all images in the beauty sections of its stores reflect transparency by 2020. This means many other beauty products will need to use photos that follow CVS’ guidelines. As DPReview writes and I agree, it’s good to keep these standards in mind if you’re shooting campaigns for beauty brands.

As Foulkes has explained in her statement, unrealistic body imagery has a negative impact on girls and young women. As a woman who used to be an insecure teenager, I can strongly relate to this. I never thought I’d see a change in this direction and transparency in beauty and fashion photos. But boy, am I glad to see that this change is happening! After Getty’s new guidelines on photoshopping female bodies, CVS’ decision is another step towards positive change.

[CVS Pharmacy via DPReview]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “CVS Pharmacy bans digital manipulations in its beauty photos”

  1. Joe Hogan Fotografia Avatar
    Joe Hogan Fotografia

    Cosmetic companies creating anti-retouching policies to me seems slightly paradoxical. Creating false images of a product for sale is simply unethical, any product at all. However, cosmetics in themselves are retouching tools. I am increasingly becoming suspicious of this argument given that in my experience, beauty products in advertising are applied to models by professionals. The logic to me would be that if a company wants to create a vision or message of a natural product for real people, then perhaps they should use non-professional models who have applied the cosmeticas themselves.

  2. Don Barnard Avatar
    Don Barnard

    I’ve long wished for a simple pie chart stamp for all commercial and advertising images that simply shows how much manipulation an image has had done to it.
    from basic raw conversion (one pie slice shaded) basic colour and exposure adjustments (two pie slices shaded) all the way to full digital composite.
    a simple stamp that at a glance tells you how real the shot is.

  3. Mark Niebauer Avatar
    Mark Niebauer

    Oh, like CVS is such a bastion of morals. Total hipacrits!