Beauty corporation Unilever is removing the word “normal” from its products, in a bid to promote more of a “positive beauty” ethos. The move is among several other steps they are taking, including not digitally alter a person’s body shape, size, proportion or skin colour in brand advertising.
A research project conducted by the company appears to have helped to drive these changes. It found that seven in ten people agree that using the word ‘normal’ on product packaging and advertising has a negative impact. For younger people (those aged 18-35), this rises to eight in ten. In response, Unilever — which owns brands such as Dove — has pledged to take the word ‘normal’ off of its products.
The move is part of their ‘Positive Beauty’ vision and strategy “that will drive growth and build a new era of beauty that is more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable.” These changes will include the likes of hair products (which previously were labelled for ‘normal to dry’ hair) altering the wording to “dry and damaged” locks instead. Similar edits will be made with skincare formulas.
In addition, Unilever’s survey found that more than half of people (56%) think that the beauty and personal care industry can make people feel excluded. Unilever is hoping that their promise to not digitally alter any imagery in advertising will help to tackle this. In addition, they say they will increase the number of advertisements portraying people from marginalised groups who are under-represented.
Speaking about these changes, Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care, said: “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.”
They continued: “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.”
Unilever also has brands such as Lifebuoy, Vaseline and Sunsilk in their portfolio.