Unilever said on Tuesday that it would no longer use the word “normal” to advertise and package its beauty and personal care products, and would ban digitally altering photos of models, as part of its inclusivity policy.
The company, which owns skincare brands such as Dove and Simple, and haircare brands including TreSemme, said within a year the word "normal" would be removed from the packaging of at least 200 products.
It said it would increase the number of advertisements featuring people from diverse groups, and that it would not “digitally alter a person’s body shape, size, proportion or skin colour in its brand advertising".
Many skincare and hair products use phrases such as “for normal skin” or “normal hair”, and Unilever says its global research suggests that the word “makes most people feel excluded".
Sunny Jain, who leads Unilever’s beauty and personal care division, said the company wanted to tackle “harmful norms and stereotypes” and shape a “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,” Mr Jain said.
The company renamed its skin-lightening brand in India last year from Fair & Lovely to Glow & Lovely, after anger from customers who said Unilever was perpetuating negative stereotypes about darker skin tones.