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    The Power Of Inclusive Beauty Campaigns

    The Power Of Inclusive Beauty Campaigns - NALÈ


    In the world of beauty, inclusivity is becoming more than just a buzzword. It's fast reshaping the perceptions of conventional beauty standards. Inclusive beauty campaigns celebrate diversity in all forms, from skin tone to body shape, gender identity, age, and even cultural and religious differences. It promotes the idea that beauty comes in different shapes, sizes, and colours, questioning the traditional notions of what people consider to be attractive.


    How beauty standards have changed over time

    It’s difficult to have grown and not experience the societal expectation of beauty standards. What is considered beauty standards have evolved, shaped by cultural, societal, and media influences. In the past, these standards often favoured a narrow definition of beauty, considering only people who were thin, eurocentric, and youthful.

    In recent years, there has been a shift towards more inclusive beauty standards, thanks in part to the rise of inclusive beauty campaigns. These campaigns challenge the accepted notions of beauty by celebrating diversity in all its forms, including race, ethnicity, body shape, age, gender identity, and physical ability.

    By showing a diverse range of models and products, inclusive beauty campaigns have helped broaden the definition of beauty by emphasizing that there is no one-size-fits-all standard. This evolution is encouraging individuals to embrace their unique features rather than adjusting to unrealistic ideas.


    Why inclusive beauty campaigns matter

    1. Promoting diversity: These campaigns celebrate diversity in all its forms by featuring a diverse range of models and products that represent different groups. This sends a message of acceptance and representation to people who might otherwise have felt neglected.
    2. Redefining beauty standards: With inclusive beauty campaigns challenging the traditional standard, they expand the definition of beauty to include a broader range of appearances, encouraging people to embrace their unique selves.
    3. Boosting self-esteem and body image: Inclusive beauty campaigns can boost self-esteem and promote positive body image by showcasing real people who reflect the diversity of their audience. When people see themselves represented in advertising and media, they feel validated and accepted.
    4. Expanding market reach: Inclusive beauty campaigns cater to a broader audience. The more people represented, the larger the market sample. This helps to increase brand appeal and market reach. By recognizing and representing diverse demographics, brands can attract new customers and build loyalty among those who feel seen and valued.
    5. Driving social change: The beauty industry plays a big role in driving who people think they are and how it influences their social interactions. Inclusive beauty campaigns have the power to push social change by encouraging conversations about representation and inclusion which inspires individuals and industries to prioritize diversity in their messages and practices.


    Challenges involved in inclusive beauty campaigns

    1. Navigating cultural sensitivities: Inclusive beauty campaigns often involve representing people from different cultural backgrounds. Brands have to navigate cultural sensitivities carefully to avoid maintaining stereotypes or disrespecting cultural elements.
    2. Addressing intersectionality: Intersectionality refers to the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, gender, sexuality, and class. Sometimes this creates systems of discrimination and disadvantage that overlap. It requires careful consideration and sensitivity to the complex experiences of marginalized communities to avoid this discrimination overlap.
    3. Overcoming resistance and backlash: Sometimes, inclusive beauty campaigns may face resistance or backlash from people who are uncomfortable with representations of diversity or who resist changes to traditional beauty standards because they are still holding on to the traditional standards.
    4. Avoiding tokenism: Tokenism happens when brands include diversity in their campaigns as a surface-level gesture, without addressing underlying issues of representation and inclusion. This can lead to marginalized individuals and communities being exploited or objectified.
    5. Measuring impact and effectiveness: Assessing the impact of inclusive beauty campaigns is not so easy. Metrics like engagement, reach, and sales are important indicators, but they may not fully capture the campaign's influence on societal behaviour and people’s perceptions of changing beauty standards.


    Some inclusive beauty campaigns from brands

    1. Fenty Beauty

    The "Fenty Face" campaign by Fenty Beauty was popular and it aimed to show that makeup products can be versatile and inclusive. The campaign started with a contest and featured models with diverse skin tones and ethnicities, highlighting how Fenty Beauty's products cater to a wide range of complexions. The campaign emphasized that beauty comes in all shades, encouraging people to embrace their unique skin tones.


    2. Dove

    One of Dove's most notable campaigns, "Real Beauty Sketches," aimed to confront women's perceptions of their beauty. In the campaign, women were asked to describe their appearance to a forensic sketch artist, who then created sketches based on their descriptions. The sketches revealed that women often described themselves more critically than others did, highlighting the importance of self-acceptance and redefining what beauty meant to them.


    3. Sephora

    Sephora's "We Belong to Something Beautiful" campaign celebrated diversity and inclusivity within the beauty community. It featured models of various ethnicities, ages, and gender identities, highlighting the beauty of individuality and self-expression. Through the campaign, Sephora was to foster a sense of belonging and empowerment among its diverse customer base, promoting the idea that beauty is for everyone.


    4. CoverGirl

    Changing from the “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” tagline, the "I Am What I Make Up" campaign by CoverGirl challenged stereotypes and redefined beauty ideas. The campaign featured a different group of people, including men, women, and people from different cultural backgrounds who through their stories and experiences highlighted the power of makeup as a tool for self-expression and empowerment, encouraging others to embrace their unique identities.


    5. MAC Cosmetics

    MAC Cosmetics' "All Ages, All Races, All Genders” campaign celebrated diversity and inclusivity within the beauty industry. The campaign spotlighted models of different ages, races, genders, and cultural backgrounds, highlighting the brand's commitment to representing individuals from all walks of life. The goal of the campaign was to promote acceptance and diversity within the beauty community.


    6. NYX Professional Makeup 

    The "Game Out Loud" campaign by NYX Professional Makeup celebrated LGBTQ+ pride and diversity. It was put together to bring awareness to anti-LGBTQIA+ bullying in the online gaming space.  The vibrant makeup looks inspired by the rainbow flag and showed LGBTQ+ members who demonstrate their talents through the makeup artistry of their favourite games.


    7. L'Oréal Paris

    L'Oréal Paris' "Your Skin, Your Story" campaign celebrated the diverse experiences of women from around the world. It had women of different ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds sharing their personal journeys and beauty routines. The goal of the campaign was to celebrate individuality and promote self-confidence, encouraging women to embrace their stories and unique beauty.


    8. Revlon

    Revlon had the "Live Boldly" campaign to inspire women to live life on their terms and embrace their individuality. The campaign featured different women, including models, actresses, and activists, who embodied confidence and empowerment. The goal of the campaign was to encourage women to express themselves boldly and authentically, both in their beauty choices and in their lives.


    9. Maybelline

    Women are known to be ambitious and determined to defy expectations and pursue their dreams. The Maybelline's "Make It Happen" campaign celebrated this ambition. It highlighted inspiring women from various fields, entrepreneurship, activism, and arts, sharing their stories of resilience and success. The campaign was to empower women to break barriers and make their aspirations a reality, while also showcasing the brand's makeup products as tools for self-expression.


    10. Urban Decay

    Urban Decay's "Pretty Different" campaign celebrated individuality and non-conformity within the beauty community. The campaign featured models who didn't fit into conventional beauty looks, challenging traditional beauty norms and standards. The goal of the campaign was to redefine beauty standards and inspire people to embrace their quirks and differences through self-expression and creativity.


    The impact of inclusive beauty campaigns on the industry

    1. By catering to a broader audience and recognizing the diversity of their customer base, brands can increase their market share and appeal to a wider range of consumers.
    2. As consumer preferences shift towards more inclusive and diverse representations, brands that fail to adapt risk losing relevance and market share.
    3. Inclusive beauty campaigns can drive sales by resonating with consumers who feel seen and valued by the brand. When people feel connected to a brand and its products, they’re more likely to repeat purchases and become loyal customers.
    4. By prioritizing diversity and representation in their marketing efforts, brands can set themselves apart from competitors and position themselves as leaders in the industry.
    5. Brands that embrace diversity and inclusion are often seen as more progressive, socially responsible, and authentic, which can enhance their appeal to consumers and contribute to long-term success.



    Inclusive beauty campaigns hold a significant influence in reshaping societal norms and how society views and interacts with beauty standards. By celebrating diversity and challenging traditional beauty standards, individuals can be empowered to embrace their unique qualities and feel confident in their skin. As the beauty industry continues to evolve, brands need to recognize the power they have to drive inclusivity and prioritize representation in their marketing efforts.

    At the end of the day, people are going to go for products that help them feel good about themselves and stay true to what makes them unique.




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