Unilever Launches New Inclusivity Push

The phrase ‘normal’ is no longer to be included on beauty products.


London-based company Unilever, which is one of the world’s largest advertisers, has announced the decision to remove the word ‘normal’ from all of its personal care products within a year’s time. 

For many years, the word ‘normal’ has appeared on thousands of beauty and self-care products but has recently come under a lot of criticism for the negative connotations the word can have. The word ‘normal’ can imply that no improvements need to be made, and therefore those with ‘frizzy’ hair or ‘oily’ skin are less desirable than those who might opt for the ‘normal’ option. As well as this, it begs the question of what ‘normal’ skin or hair really looks like and can further add to the wider issue of race and body types being misrepresented in the media. 

The move from Unilever was largely pushed by a survey conducted of more than 10,000 consumers globally, which found that over seven in 10 people believe that the word ‘normal’ makes people feel excluded when used on packaging, 

Sunny Jain, president of Unilever’s beauty and personal care division spoke to Reuters about how the removal of the term “is an important step towards a more inclusive definition of beauty”. Further comments have been made by Esi Eggleston Bracey to allure, the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever, arguing that “this effort is about reflecting a more inclusive vision of beauty”.

Previously, the brand has faced a huge amount of criticism over the years, from advertising facial cream in India as ‘fair and lovely’, to a 2017 ad which featured a black woman removing her top to reveal a white woman. However, since then, a move in 2018 with the Dove brand to stop the digital altercations of body types or skin tones of models has been promising. The company also pledged last year to remove the words ‘fair, fairness, white, whitening, light and lightening’ from all its packaging. The company also currently possesses a Positive Beauty initiative, which aims to take action across all of its brands, but also tackle pressing environmental and sustainability issues. 

Although perhaps this news is very overdue, it certainly is a step in the right direction. 


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