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Unilever to eliminate word ‘normal’ from all beauty products

By Tess Stenzel

9 Mar 2021

Business

Unilever — the company behind skincare brands such as Dove, Vaseline, Axe, Sunsilk, and more — has announced that it will eliminate the word ‘normal’ from all beauty and personal care products packaging and advertising in a push to be more inclusive.

As part of the London-based company’s new positive beauty vision and strategy, it will also stop digital alterations of body shapes, size, and skin color of models used in its advertising and increase the number of advertisements portraying people from diverse groups who are under-represented.

“The decision to remove ‘normal’ is one of many steps that we are taking to challenge narrow beauty ideals, as we work towards helping to end discrimination and advocating for a more inclusive vision of beauty,” stated the brand in a press release.

Unilever commissioned a survey of 10,000 people in nine countries and found 56 percent think that the beauty and personal care industry can make people feel excluded. In contrast, 74 percent of people want to see the industry focusing more on making people feel better rather than just looking better.

Sunny Jain, president of beauty and personal care at Unilever, stated: “With one billion people using our beauty and personal care products every day, and even more seeing our advertising, our brands have the power to make a real difference to people’s lives. As part of this, we are committed to tackling harmful norms and stereotypes and shaping a broader, far more inclusive definition of beauty.”

Sarah Degnan Kambou, president of the international center for research on women, added: “Every day, we see and hear messages about how to ‘fit in’, how to be included in very narrow definitions of what is ‘normal’. To champion equity, we need to challenge these restrictive ‘norms’ and create societies and communities that celebrate diversity.”

“We look forward to seeing Unilever advance these commitments and hold themselves to the high standards they have set out before them.”

Image: Unilever

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