Kerry Washington isn't retouched in her new CVS campaign: 'We don't have to rely on a digital toolbox to make sure we're beautiful'

Instagram/ Kerry WashingtonKerry Washington has a partnership with Neutrogena.
  • Last year, CVS launched their Beauty Mark initiative to be transparent about digital altering in their imagery.
  • Many brands have partnered with the drugstore chain, including Neutrogena, where Kerry Washington is a brand ambassador.
  • Washington’s new campaign with Neutrogena includes no editing and minimal makeup.
  • Kerry Washington has called out companies for altering her photos in the past, including AdWeek for appearing to re-touch her 2016 cover for the magazine.

Retouching photos is rampant in Hollywood, whether it involves magazine covers, ads, or even celebrity Instagram posts – and many celebrities have spoken out about the negative effect it can have on women’s body image issues.

But now, former “Scandal” star Kerry Washington is taking a stand. As she explained in a new interview with Refinery 29, Washington won’t be retouched in her new CVS beauty campaign, especially after her experiences being over-edited in the past.

In 2018, CVS launched Beauty Mark, their initiative to leave the beauty-related images they use for marketing, social media, and in their stores unaltered. This means that all of their images are watermarked to show that they have not been edited and that they will visibly label images that have been digitally altered.

Cvs beauty markCVSA promotional photo from CVS’ Beauty Mark photoshoot.

Several brands have partnered with CVS in this initiative, including CoverGirl, Revlon, and Maybelline. Since Neutrogena has also hopped on board, this means that Washington’s new campaign with the skin-care brand will not include any major digital altering.

“I have hands-on experience of seeing a picture of myself where somebody else decided that I should have a differently-shaped face than what I have because that would be better,” Washington said while talking to Refinery29. “It was such a confusing and disorienting experience.”

Washington said that in the past, she has seen photos of herself that appear to have been edited to the point that her own features became unrecognizable. In 2016, she accused AdWeek of heavily editing the photo of her on its cover in a lengthy post on Instagram.

Kerry washingtonJason Kempin/Getty ImagesWashington has stood up against retouching images in the past.

“It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror. It’s an unfortunate feeling,” Washington wrote at the time.

AdWeek’s editorial director James Cooper responded to her comments at the time by saying that “minimal adjustments, solely for the cover’s design needs” and that they meant no “disrespect” to her.

Now, Washington said she is grateful to pose in minimal makeup without being edited.

“I think people are so hungry for truth and authenticity,” Washington said of the CVS initiative. “Me and my toolbox of makeup and skin care are enough. I am enough. We don’t have to rely on a digital toolbox to make sure we’re beautiful.”

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