Unilever is changing the way we talk about beauty

One of the many steps they take is to eliminate the word “normal” from their packaging and advertising.

Editor’s Note: This content is sponsored by Unilever and was produced by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the editorial staff or editorial staff participated in the production of this article.

Besides our cultures and mainstream media, brands have a powerful influence on the way we view beauty. This is especially true when it comes to the products we use to take care of our bodies.

The images of men and women they put on shampoo bottles, the labels they put on their soap packaging, the designs and stories they present on their ads all affect how we think about ourselves. .

Straight hair, fair skin, slim body – we’ve all been programmed to think that’s what’s normal. So when products designed for curly hair, morena skin, and the bigger women started to support themselves, they had to be put in a different category like the “plus size” section.

It’s been a long and arduous journey, but we’re getting there slowly. Fortunately, more and more brands are promoting strong hair rather than just straight, even skin rather than fair, and a healthy physique rather than thin.

Make the conversation mainstream

One of the world’s biggest beauty brands, Unilever recognizes the important role they play in defining what beauty means to most people.

As a major first step, they will not use the word “normal” in any of the packaging and advertising of their beauty and personal care brands as part of their vision of “positive beauty”. This follows a 10,000-person study commissioned by Unilever which found that using “normal” to describe hair or skin makes most people feel left out.

This is just one of the many steps they are taking.

Unilever is also committed to “not digitally altering any person’s body shape, size, proportions or skin color in advertising its brand; and increase the number of advertisements portraying people from various groups who are under-represented.

It’s an approach Dove has taken over the past few years, but we’ll soon see this crossover with the rest of Unilever’s beauty and personal care brands in the Philippines like Close-up, Cream Silk, and Love Beauty & Planet in as part of the “Act 2 Unstereotype” Campaign.

“Act 2 Unstereotype” is “Unilever’s commitment to systemic change and making inclusive end-to-end marketing a priority”. The move is also based on a study commissioned by Unilever which shows that nearly one in two people from marginalized communities feel stereotyped by advertising.

“We know that removing the ‘normal’ from our products and packaging will not solve the problem on its own, but it is an important step forward,” said Sunny Jain, President of Unilever, Beauty & Personal. Care. “This is just one of the many actions we take as part of our vision of positive beauty, which aims not only to do less harm, but also to do more good for people and the planet. “

Go beyond beauty

Unilever’s goals go beyond beauty. They also go to great lengths to produce sustainable products that are not harmful to the planet and its people.

They are striving to regenerate 1.5 million hectares of land, forests and oceans by 2030, which they say is more land than is needed to grow the renewable ingredients of Unilever beauty and personal care products.

Unilever also supports a global animal testing ban for cosmetics by 2023. To date, 23 Unilever beauty and personal care brands are now approved by PETA, with more working towards certification. .

“In the Philippines, Unilever continues to leverage its size to positively impact its communities. In our efforts to transform our portfolio of beloved products into brands with purpose, the Dove Self-Esteem Program, the CloseUp Free to Love Campaign and the #ConditionedForGreater Academy of Creamsilk, Beauty That Cares and Shop2Give, are among the many examples of long-standing programs that take action to address social and environmental challenges and that advocate for changing standards, policies and laws, ”said Dorothy Dee-Ching, vice president of marketing for beauty and personal care, Unilever Philippines. – Rappler.com

Karl M. Bailey