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Unilever Will Remove The Word "Normal" From Beauty Products To Promote Inclusivity

Unilever Will Remove The Word "Normal" From Beauty Products To Promote Inclusivity
As a part of its new policy of promoting greater inclusivity, the word “normal” will be dropped from all of its beauty and personal care products by the maker of the Dove soap brand Unilever. The company will also stop digitally altering body shapes and skin colour of the models that the company uses in its advertising campaigns.
These measures are being taken by the London-based company, one of the biggest advertisers of the world, as it tries to mend its image after it faced severe backlash an d criticism of some the advertising campaigns run by it globally.
The company has also taken a number of measures to promote more inclusiveness such as renaming last year of its best selling skin lightening brand in India from "Fair & Lovely" to "Glow & Lovely". This followed criticism of the company’s advertising campaigns over allegations that darker skin tones are negatively stereotyped in them.
An advertisement of Dove body wash which depicted a black woman removing her top to reveal a white woman was severely criticised in 2017 by users of social media. A recent criticism and social media backlash forced the company to pull all its TRESemme haircare products from South African retail stores for a period of 10 days because of a controversial ad involving the products of the brand.
"We know that removing 'normal' alone will not fix the problem, but we believe it is an important step towards a more inclusive definition of beauty," Sunny Jain, president of Unilever's beauty and personal care division told the media.
The word “normal” is used to describe skin type or hair texture and the company will be removing it from describe skin type or hair texture all over the world. That word will be replaced by terms such as "grey hair" for its shampoos or by "moisture replenish" for the skin cream products. The company plans to implement this by March next year.
The company had conducted a survey recently involving 10,000 people globally whose results showed that more than half the participants were of the opinion that the use of the word "normal" for describing hair or skin was enough to make them feel excluded. The survey also showed that 70 per cent of the respondents possessed a negative image of the company form the use of the in advertising.
The Unilever will also completely stop digitally altering body shape, size, proportion and skin tones of the models that it uses for its own advertisements as well as for those of its paid influencers for all of its brands. This policy is being followed by the company for its Dove brand since 2018 and would soon add more brands.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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