Unilever, the multi-billion-dollar company that owns brands such as Dove and Sure, has announced it will be dropping use of the word “normal” from products, and toning down its photo editing to be more inclusive of its customers.
In a statement on Tuesday, Unilever revealed that its brands would be “removing the word ‘normal’ from advertising and packaging” after 70 percent of people in a survey said the word had a negative effect and the beauty industry needed to be more inclusive.
Unilever President of Beauty & Personal Care Sunny Jain added in his own statement that the company was “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,” he declared.
Unilever is also set to cut down on its editing of photos over the next year, prohibiting “all digital alterations to body shape, size, proportion and skin colour” in TV commercials, print advertising, and product images.
Many social media users celebrated Unilever’s decision, calling it a “brilliant stance” and a “wonderful leap forward,” but others accused the company of making a cheap PR statement and wondered how else its brands would now “describe non-oily, non-dry, non-combination, non-sensitive skin” on its skincare product packaging, if not as “normal.”
Last year, Unilever competitor Johnson & Johnson received positive press after announcing it would no longer sell the skin-whitening creams that have been common in Asia and other parts of the world.
A week later, French personal-care company L’Oréal announced it would drop words such as “white,”“fair,” and “light” from its branding, following Black Lives Matter protests.
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