Pharmacy giant CVS announced Monday that it would ban touchups of images for beauty products from its stores, websites, social media and marketing materials, a move advocates say is pivotal in the battle for beauty image transparency.
"We all want to be reflected in a true fashion, we want to look at photographs that feel real and authentic," Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy, said in a video statement.
CVS Health, based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, said it would begin making changes to its own products in store this April. It will also require all products sold by CVS to comply by 2020, or they will be marked with a "CVS Beauty Mark" warning label.
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"Twenty million women will experience some sort of eating disorder in their lifetime. Ten million men will do so, as well," said Mia Holland, a Bridgewater State University psychology professor. "There's a reason, there's something out there that's precipitating this and that's the unrealistic images."
Holland applauds CVS' efforts, but says others need to step up for this to have a wide-reaching effect.
"It needs to start with models, it needs to start actresses, it needs to start with the people who are promoting the images in the first place," said Holland.
Photos courtesy of CVS Health
Shoppers told NBC10 Boston they were pleased with the change.
"When you grow up seeing all these unrealistic beauty standards, you know you kind of feel – it definitely takes an effect on your self-image," said CVS shopper Sabrina Belozerova.
"I think it's great, anything making it more real for people actually know what people look like is always a good thing," added Claire Marvin.
CVS has previously made changes in its stores to support broader health issues. It stopped selling tobacco products in 2014, and last year it announced it would remove certain chemicals from about 600 beauty and personal-care products by the end of 2019.
CVS runs more than 9,700 retail locations.