British company Unilever, which owns brands including Dove, Simple, and Sure, has announced that it will remove the word ‘normal’ from 200 of its beauty products, in an attempt to create a “more inclusive definition of beauty”.
The conglomerate will also ban excessive editing of models’ photos – specifically in relation to “body shape, size proportion, and skin colour” – increase representation of marginalised groups, and use more natural and biodegradable ingredients in its products.
Unilever’s president of beauty and personal care products, Sunny Jain, said that the company was “committed to tackling harmful norms and stereotypes, and shaping a broader, far more inclusive of definition”. He continued: “We know that removing ‘normal’ from our products and packaging will not fix the problem alone, but it is an important step forward.”
Jain confirmed that the company is enforcing the changes in order to make Unilever “a more successful business”.
Unilever has faced criticism over the years for promoting negative racial stereotypes – notably in 2017, when an advert for Dove showed a Black woman turning into a white woman after using the brand’s lotion. The company apologised, saying it “missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully”.
In December, Unilever became the first company to implement the Halo Code by committing to celebrate natural hairstyles in its workplace. The Code was established by the Halo Collective, a group of Black activists fighting against hair discrimination. Speaking to Dazed Beauty, Dove UKI’s marketing manager, Nikki Comiskey, said the move was “a vital step in the fight to ensure racial justice and racial equality for the next generation”.