Cult Beauty bans use of retouched model photos

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 27-Jun-2023

The increased restrictions aim to raise awareness on how airbrushed beauty images can affect young people’s mental health

Cult Beauty has banned the use of airbrushed model photos across its product catalogue and social media channels.

The newly implemented measures include restrictions on editing imagery shot by the THG-owned retailer’s content creators.

A new labelling system will also mark images that are supplied to the business as either ‘untouched’ or ‘retouched’.

Cult Beauty said the changes aim to tackle an “epidemic” of anxiety and eating disorders among women and men who regularly see exaggerated body shapes and altered skin tones.

“Young people are more vulnerable than ever before to the dangers presented by enhanced body images and unrealistic beauty standards,” said Lucy Gorman, CEO of THG Beauty.

“The damaging impact this can have on a teenager’s self-esteem and mental health are well documented, and as an industry leader we believe we owe it to the beauty industry to have a platform where they can make a difference.”

A ‘Can’t (Re)Touch This’ campaign has also been launched alongside the business’ overhauled content standards.

The campaign includes increased efforts to display inclusive visuals to represent people of all shapes, sizes and colours on its digital channels. 

A letter demanding tougher laws regulating the use of enhanced body images has been sent to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Cult Beauty has also backed a parliamentary bill which would make it mandatory to declare when an image has been digitally tweaked to enhance body proportions.

“For too long beauty has been synonymous with a narrow set of, let’s be honest, unattainable ideals.

“As a society, we’ve celebrated thinness, youth and flawlessness — elevating certain attributes while vilifying everything beyond the strict parameters of ‘perfect’,” added Cult Beauty’s Managing Director, Francesca Elliott.

Have you launched an innovative new product in the past 12 months? Then you could be in with a chance of winning at this year's Pure Beauty Awards. Enter here.

You may also like