Unilever says no to ‘normal’ with new positive beauty vision

Unilever has announced it will eliminate the word ‘normal’ from all of its beauty and personal care brands’ packaging and advertising as part of its new Positive Beauty vision and strategy.

Positive Beauty, which sets out several progressive commitments and actions for Unilever's beauty and personal care brands – which include Dove, Vaseline and Sunsilk – will champion a new era of beauty which is equitable and inclusive, as well as sustainable for the planet.

Using Unilever’s world class innovation and technology, Positive Beauty will also help to drive a transformation in how products are designed and formulated so that they do more good for both people and the planet, deliver a superior product experience, and tap into consumer trends. 

The company says its decision to remove ‘normal’ is one of many steps it is taking to challenge narrow beauty ideals, as it works towards helping to end discrimination and advocating for a more inclusive vision of beauty. The move follows global research into people’s experiences of the beauty industry reveals that using ‘normal’ to describe hair or skin makes most people feel excluded.

 The 10,000-person study commissioned by Unilever found that seven in 10 people agree that using the word ‘normal’ on product packaging and advertising has a negative impact, rising to eight in 10 among those aged 18-35. Meanwhile, 56% think that the beauty and personal care industry can make people feel excluded, and 74% said they want the industry to focus more on making people feel better, rather than just looking better.

In addition to removing the word ‘normal’ from packaging and advertising, Unilever says it will not digitally alter a person’s body shape, size, proportion or skin colour in its brand advertising, and will increase the number of advertisements portraying people from diverse groups who are under-represented.

Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care, says: “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.

"We know that removing ‘normal’ from our products and packaging will not fix the problem alone, but it is an important step forward. It’s just one of a number of actions we are taking as part of our Positive Beauty vision, which aims not only to do less harm, but more good for both people and the planet.”

Unielver’s Positive Beauty initiative comprises of a set of three commitments designed to create real, measurable impact. These are: taking action through its brands to improve health and wellbeing, and advance equity and inclusion, reaching 1 billion people per year by 2030; helping to protect and regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forsts and oceans by 2030; and supporting a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics by 2023. Visit www.unilever.com/brands/personal-care/our-positive-beauty-strategy for more information.


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