Difficult tight beliefs of magnificence

As part of the launch of its new vision and strategy for positive beauty, Unilever announced that it would remove the word “normal” from all beauty and personal care brands such as Dove, Lifebuoy, TRESemmé, Simple and Sunsilk.

The removal of the word "normal" from packaging and advertising reportedly falls under a broader commitment to ending discrimination in beauty and promoting inclusion – a new era of beauty that is fair, inclusive and sustainable for the planet.

It is viewed as one of many steps Unilever is taking to challenge narrow ideals of beauty as it will help end discrimination and advocate a broader vision of beauty.

"We know that removing 'normal' from our products and packaging won't fix the problem on its own, but it's an important step forward," said Sunny Jain, President Beauty and Personal Care.

"It's just one of several measures we're taking as part of our vision of Positive Beauty, which is not just about doing less harm, but doing more good for people and the planet."

In addition, Unilever is committed to not digitally altering a person's body shape, size, proportions or skin color in brand advertising and is increasing the number of ads that showcase people from different groups who are underrepresented.

"We know that images depicting a certain type of beauty affect us all – men, women, children and people of all ages and ethnicities," said Markus Redhe, general manager for beauty personal care and homecare at Unilever in Australia and New Zealand.

“Australia is one of the most diverse countries in the world and it is important that the language we use for our popular products such as Dove, Lifebuoy, TRESemmé, Simple and Sunsilk reflects our diverse customer base and values ​​as an inclusive brand.

“With hundreds of thousands of Australians using our beauty and personal care products every day and seeing more of our ads, our brands can really change people's lives.

"As part of this, we are committed to addressing harmful norms and stereotypes and developing a broader definition of beauty."

Driving positive change

According to a statement released by Unilever, the decision to remove “normal” from packaging and advertising is just one action with three commitments they have made to achieve real and measurable impact.

The three commitments include:

  • Taking action through their brands to improve health and wellbeing, promote equity and inclusion, and reach 1 billion people a year by 2030.
  • Contribute to the protection and regeneration of 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030.
  • Support a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics by 2023.

"Every day we see and hear messages about how to 'fit in' and how to be included in very narrow definitions of what is 'normal'," says Sarah Degnan Kambou, President of the International Center for Women's Studies.

“To stand up for justice, we need to challenge these restrictive“ norms ”and create societies and communities that celebrate diversity – and the unique qualities and ideas that each person brings with them.

“Beauty is no exception. We look forward to Unilever pushing these commitments and upholding the high standards they set before them. "

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