Coty, one of the world’s largest beauty companies with a portfolio of iconic brands across fragrance, color cosmetics, skin and body care, launches a new campaign to change the dictionary definitions of beauty.
The #UndefineBeauty campaign recognizes that the current English language definitions of the term “beauty” are outdated and no longer reflect the values of today’s society. Specifically, the examples cited under the current entries for ‘beauty’ across the leading English dictionaries are both limiting and exclusive.
“She was a great beauty in her youth” is the phrase often cited in major dictionaries to illustrate the concept of beauty, and one whose excluding effects we witnessed in a social experiment involving 100 people from all around the world. The campaign calls for Dictionary publishers to review these examples and remove the implicit ageism and sexism they currently contain.
Sue Y. Nabi, Coty’s CEO, has written an open letter to the major Dictionary houses, co-signed by the Company’s Executive Committee and Senior Leadership Team, highlighting the outdated nature of their definitions, and their need for review.
Sue Y. Nabi said, “Seen through the lens of today’s society and values, the definition of beauty hasn’t aged well. Of course, not all people are impacted by, or feel excluded by these definitions. But the implicit ageism and sexism in the examples were born in a different time. We believe it’s time to bridge the gap – time to bring the definition to where society is today. By changing the definition, if more people feel included – feel beautiful – there will be a ripple effect which touches us all.”
Coty has taken this step following an in-depth review of the industry and its purpose. In capturing its organizational purpose “together, we unleash every vision of beauty”, the company identified the importance of this change.
“At Coty, we believe that no one can control or dictate what is, or is not, beautiful,” said Sue Y. Nabi. That is why the campaign to #UndefineBeauty aims to ‘undefine’ rather than simply “redefine” beauty so that no one feels excluded by the definition or examples that accompany it.