The ads in Times Square were part of Olay's new initiative to stop editing photos of the brand's models.

By Renee Cherry
February 20, 2020
Raymond Hall/Getty Images

Early in her career, Busy Philipps noticed how retouchers would alter photos of her, and she's since said it effed with her self-esteem. But now, thanks to her deal with Olay, Philipps is starring in ads with zero retouching. Olay has promised to stop retouching all of its ads by the end of 2020.

While speaking at an event to announce the brand's initiative, Philipps contrasted Olay's new policy to the heavy Photoshop jobs on her photos when she modeled as a teen. "I would get these pictures back, and they would take all the moles off of my face and my neck," Philipps said at the event, adding that she'd barely recognize herself in those heavily edited photos. "[They'd] shave literally 30 pounds off of my little 19-year-old face and body, which is insane." (Celebrities like Meghan Trainor, Zendaya, and Ronda Rousey have also taken a stand against the Photoshopping of their photos.)

Frustrated by these harsh edits, Philipps started requesting minimal retouching when taking modeling jobs, she continued. Olay has respected those wishes, but that's not always the case with other brands, explained Philipps. "In the last decade or so, I've made sure that my publicists always say, 'We cannot retouch her moles, we'd really like minimal retouching, we'd like to see it first,'" she said at Olay's event. "Sometimes [the brand] would agree, and sometimes they wouldn't. You're just sort of at the mercy of whoever you're working with." (ICYDK, Olay joins brands like Aerie, Dove, and CVS in adopting a no-retouching policy for advertisements.)

Olay has already broadcast unretouched ads with Philipps, comedian and talk show host Lilly Singh, and model Denise Bidot in Times Square. On Wednesday, Philipps shared a surreal *life reflection* moment on Instagram after seeing videos of herself televised all over the tourist destination's giant electronic screens. She'd once walked through Times Square at 24 years old and felt like her career "was already over," she wrote. But clearly that wasn't the case.

Moving forward, Olay will use a "Skin Promise" symbol on its ads to indicate that they haven't been altered. You can look forward to seeing footage of Philipps, moles and all, carrying the seal.

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