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Highlands senior champions ‘feeling good in your own skin’

Joyce Hanz

“Let me take a selfie.”

That familiar phrase is a daily norm for Highlands High School senior Olivia Grace Fertig.

Fertig, 18, of Tarentum has almost 12,000 followers and subscribers on her Instagram and You Tube social media accounts.

“I post a lot of make-up, fashion and daily life on there,” Fertig said. “I am self-taught and I like to keep my posts positive and I try and be creative and post random stuff, like my outfits. I love vintage clothes and thrift store shopping.”

Fertig’s two pups, Oscar and Rocky, often get snapped and end up on her accounts, too, she said. “They just look cute.”

Her posts paid off this month, when she was selected by national retailer CVS to participate in and promote the company’s online “Sans Retouching” Campaign.

If you’re French is rusty, sans means “without.”

The campaign rails against the common practice in many industries of altering advertising photographs and videos to make the images “look” better. The practice of electronically altering images to remove imperfections is called “retouching.”

Social media is full of examples, pointing out what some consider a deceptive marketing practice. Even celebrity spokespeople and fashion models have posted examples showing when photos of themselves have been retouched.

Fertig was contacted by CVS via email and asked if she would participate in its campaign.

Fertig, who goes by “cupcakelivv” on social media, chose the moniker because, as a child, she dreamed of owning her own bakery.

Her Instagram boasts she is a “lover of the little things in life.”

She said the CVS campaign message was important to her.

“So many people use filters on their posts and, sometimes, it’s not a true representation of what they look like,” Fertig said while taking a break from musical rehearsals at Highlands this week.

Fertig posted a shot of herself wearing a T-shirt provided by CVS. Her boyfriend snapped the pic of her — without makeup or filters.

The social media response was positive and uplifting Fertig said.

“I think it’s very empowering for girls and I want girls to know you don’t need to put on loads of makeup to be beautiful. Feeling good in your own skin is so important,” Fertig said.

Fertig was paid for her participation in the campaign, although she said it was not a significant amount.

CVS unveiled its “Beauty Mark” campaign in 2018, with a focus on ensuring that CVS marketing materials for beauty products are not retouched or altered in any way.

This year, the campaign officially was implemented and 70 percent of the cosmetic imagery in CVS stores is not digitally altered.

In a statement, CVS said, “Our goal is to have all beauty imagery in our stores, online and for marketing efforts reflect transparency by the end of 2020.”

Fertig began her creative online journey when she was 12, under the guidance of her mom, Suzi Fertig.

“Olivia Grace is proud that she did this post (sans retouching) because she promotes loving yourself the way that you are and she does embrace that and wants to send that out as a message,” Suzi Fertig said.

Fellow Highlands student Alexia Morrow saw Fertig’s CVS all natural post and approved.

“She’s become more interested in self-care and self-love,” Morrow said. “She’s truly inspiring in a way I’ve never seen before.”

The mother/daughter duo keep close tabs on both of Fertig’s social media accounts, which have followers from around the globe.

“I have a lot of subscribers from the United Kingdom,” Fertig said. “I love England and hope to go there one day.”

She plans to attend cosmetology school after graduation and work as a aesthetician.

When she’s not managing her social media accounts, Fertig said her favorite activity is participating in the arts and high school musicals at Highlands.

Joyce Hanz is a freelance writer.


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Joyce Hanz | For the Tribune-Review
Highlands High School senior Olivia Grace Fertig, 18, of Tarentum recently participated in national retail chain CVS’s “Sans Retouching” Campaign. She posted a photo of herself on her Instagram @cupcakelivv without makeup or filters to promote transparency in beauty advertising.
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Courtesy of Olivia Fertig
Olivia Grace Fertig, 18, of Tarentum posted this unaltered photo of herself to her Instagram page and was chosen to participate in CVS’s “Sans Retouching” Campaign, which promotes transparency in beauty advertising.