Why Unilever Will No Longer Be Using the Word 'Normal'

Dove owner will also ban excessive photo editing
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2021 12:03 AM CST
Unilever to Stop Referring to 'Normal' Hair and Skin Types
In this Thursday, March 15, 2018 file photo, the logo for Unilever appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Unilever, the parent company of Dove and many other beauty and personal care brands, will no longer use the word "normal" to describe any of its hair and skin products. The company says the word will be removed from the packaging of at least 200 products within a year, the Guardian reports. The decision "comes as global research into people's experiences of the beauty industry reveals that using 'normal' to describe hair or skin makes most people feel excluded," the company says, per CNN. Unilever also says it will ban "all digital alterations to body shape, size, proportion and skin color" from its advertisements, and will "increase the number of advertisements portraying people from diverse groups who are underrepresented."

Last but not least, Unilever says it will use "more natural, biodegradable and regenerative ingredients across our product portfolio," which also includes brands like Marmite spread and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The company says it plans to be more openly activist, "taking a stand on the issues we know consumers care about and communicating that to consumers." It has been partnering with minority-owned businesses in recent years. As for the word "normal," Reuters reports it will be replaced with descriptions like "grey hair" or "moisture replenish." (Unilever has seen its fair share of controversy over the years; see examples here, here, and here.)

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