CVS launches new beauty campaign with un-retouched ads

Posted at 5:05 PM, Apr 20, 2018

Have you ever looked at a person in an ad and wondered, what do they look like in real life? Now, with at least one company's ads, you won't have to wonder.

CVS has unveiled a beauty campaign using un-retouched images, aimed at creating a more realistic standard of beauty. But do they really look that different?

It's called the Beauty in Real Life campaign. CVS says the goal of this campaign is to create a new and more realistic standard of beauty. The way you can tell if an ad is a part of the campaign is it has a CVS Beauty Mark, a white stamp watermark that reads beauty unaltered.

If you see the stamp on an ad it means that the images in the ad haven't been "materially altered." That means the brand did 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."

So essentially if you saw the person in the ad walking down the street, they would look like they do in the ad. That's the goal, because in general, the editing of photos in ads really has has an impact on how women and girls feel about themselves.

A survey found two out of three women strongly agree that the media has set an unrealistic standard of beauty. 80% of women feel worse about themselves after seeing a beauty ad. 90% of girls ages 15 to 17 want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance.

We asked a few people what they think about this new initiative.

"I think that's awesome," one woman said.  "I think we've been given unrealistic beauty standards for a really long time. So it's really nice to see companies putting in women who actually look like me. I don't have to have these unrealistic standards of what I should look like. I think it's a really awesome thing."

Other women felt differently.

"Non touching is a good start," one woman said. "But if I saw that I would be like, real life? I don't know if I'd look like that in real life."

Her friend agreed.

"When I wake up I do not look like that in real life," the woman said. "So I think like the touch up is a good start, but for that like slogan for the campaign I feel it's sending the wrong message in a way."

This campaign is rolling out now digitally and the goal is for all the images in the beauty sections of CVS stores to reflect transparency by the end of 2020.