Unilever has taken monumental steps to improve body positivity and inclusive beauty messaging

Woman cleaning her face
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unilever, one of the biggest personal care brand owners on the planet, has removed the word 'normal' from its messaging, packaging and advertising. It will also put a stop to 'excessive editing of model' imagery, which includes body shape, size, proportion or skin colour.

These changes are all part of its Positive Beauty vision and strategy that is more 'equitable, inclusive, and sustainable,' says the company.

The firm, that owns Dove, Simple and Sure, conducted a 10,000-person-strong study into people's experiences and perceptions of the beauty industry. Their findings found that:

  • More than half of people (56%) think that the beauty and personal care industry can make people feel excluded.
  • 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.
  • People want to see the beauty and personal care industry focusing more on making people feel better, than just looking better (74%).
  • More than half of people (52%) say they now pay more attention to a company’s stance on societal issues before buying products.

Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care, said: '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.'

Katie Thomas

Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.