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CVS To Ban Retouching On Store-Brand Makeup

CVS To Ban Retouching On Store-Brand Makeup

CVS is supposedly taking a stand against retouching and declaring that all of the photos that represent their beauty products will not have any retouching. CVS owns 9,600 stores across the United States and it is one of the nations largest seller of beauty products. This is stated to go in effect by April 2019, and the changes will start appearing sometime this year. 

Even more, is that they will push other brands to do the same by 2020. And if they do not, they will have an alert label on their products to let people know the photos were retouched. 

How do they define retouched? 

"For this initiative, materially altered is defined as changing or enhancing a person's shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics." 

The reason for such a wide-spread change? 

"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." 

President Helena Foulkes has some note worthy comments: 

"If someone decides they still need to digitally modify a photograph, what we want is for girls and women in our stores to know that." 

"Look at any mascara ad and they’ll show a super-duper close-up of a woman’s face. No woman’s face looks like that." 

Who should be concerned? 

I've been asked if I should worry about job security when it comes to being a retoucher if changes like these become standardized. To be honest, I like to think of positives in a situation like this.

I know first hand that I have saved a lot of photos in post production. There are lots of talented makeup artists and their skills will be showcased. For the makeup artists who now rely heavily on retouching, they will have a harder time without the crutch of retouching. 

As a retoucher, my question is, "Who is going to verify this?" People like myself are trained to also work on a lot of commercial work where we can retouch an image and still make it look like nothing was done. There are believable ways to retouch an image where the regular person won't know what was taken away. What methods will there to be determine what ad is unretouched or not?

The shots taken by the CVS team can be monitored, but what about the ads from other companies? This might just change the requirements of a retoucher. To get this "naturally retouched" look, it requires a trained eye and a different set of skills. 

So am I worried? Not yet. The success of their change will definitely impact how other companies operate. After all, if morality can become profitable, a lot of companies will suddenly care about similar things. 

Sources: USA Today and CVS


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