On Thursday, Joy-Ann Reid, host of MSNBC’s AM Joy, moderated a panel discussion on the changing face of beauty at Spring Place’s 7th floor lounge. Panelists included supermodel, author, and body activist Ashley Graham, makeup artist Daniel Martin, Endeavor Global Marketing EVP Seth Matlins, CVS Health CMO Norman de Greve, and journalist and activist Noor Tagouri.
The panel was born out of CVS’s recent commitment to transparency in beauty images used in its stores, website, social media, and marketing materials. “We will 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,” they said in a statement, at the time of the announcement. “We want our beauty aisle to be a place where our customers can always come to feel good, while representing and celebrating the authenticity and diversity of the communities we serve.”
Throughout the discussion, panelists spoke candidly about the difficulty of growing up in a world without this kind of transparency. “I really had to ask myself Am I wearing makeup because it’s fun or is it because I’m trying to correct certain imperfections?” said Tagouri.
“Eighty percent of women feel worse after looking at a beauty ad,” said de Greves. “Fourty-two percent of first through third graders want to be thinner and 90% of girls 15 to 17 want to change one aspect of their looks.”
As Graham herself pointed out though, championing transparency in the beauty industry doesn’t mean you can’t still take pleasure in wearing makeup. “Makeup is fantasy,” she said. “There still is that fantasy of getting dressed up and going out at night with a cat eye or a nice green eyeshadow.”
There’s no rule that says you can’t have it both ways.