Cult Beauty announces restrictions on airbrushed models
Cult Beauty has announced restrictions on airbrushed models as it launches a campaign to tackle what it describes as the damaging effects of enhanced beauty images on young people’s mental health.
Lucy Gorman, chief executive of THG Beauty, said: “Young people are more vulnerable than ever before to the dangers presented by enhanced body images and unrealistic beauty standards. 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. The measures announced today are only just the beginning.”
Cult Beauty is also supporting a parliamentary bill proposed by MP Luke Evans which would make it mandatory to declare when an image has been digitally tweaked to enhance body proportions. While the Digitally Altered Body Images Bill is before parliament, the beauty company has signed the MP’s Body Image Pledge – a voluntary commitment that they will not digitally alter a person’s body proportions in any direct imagery.
The brand is urging other companies in the beauty sector to support the bill and sign the pledge.
In an open letter to the government, which has been co-signed by Mental Health UK, Cult Beauty’s managing director, Francesca Elliott, has urged ministers to back the proposed new laws.
She said: “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’.
“Spots, wrinkles, cellulite, body hair — these are just examples of normal things that have been airbrushed out of ads and model images for decades — meaning to be ‘beautiful’ we have had to reject the reality of our bodies and adapt to a mould that wasn’t made for us.”
Established in 2008, Cult Beauty was acquired by THG in 2021 and offers over 300 independent brands.
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