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Coty calls on dictionaries to update beauty-related terms in new campaign

By Rachel Douglass

31 Jan 2023


Coty #UndefineBeauty campaign. Image: Coty

Beauty conglomerate Coty has unveiled a new campaign calling on dictionaries to modernise and update their definitions of beauty.

Entitled ‘#UndefineBeauty’, the campaign recognises that current English language definitions of the term ‘beauty’ are “outdated” and “no longer reflect the values of today’s society”, a press release read.

The company cited examples such as “She was a great beauty in her youth”, which Coty said was often included in major dictionaries to illustrate the concept of beauty, adding that many similar entries are both limiting and exclusive.

Coty is calling on dictionary publishers to review such terms and “remove the implicit ageism and sexism they currently contain”.

The move comes after the firm followed through with an in-depth review of the industry, and is now requesting for those interested to sign a petition in an attempt to make the change.

In an open letter to dictionary houses, Sue Nabi, Coty’s CEO. highlighted the outdated terms, stating: “Seen through the lens of today’s society and values, the definition of beauty hasn’t aged well.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.”