Coty calls on dictionaries to change definition of beauty to be more inclusive

By Austyn King | Published: 30-Jan-2023

The owner of Rimmel and CoverGirl has launched a petition urging for publishers to change the ‘offensive’ current definition

Coty has launched a petition to change the current dictionary definition of ‘beauty’, which it has branded “offensive”, in favour of a more inclusive approach.

“She was a great beauty in her youth” is the example given in the Oxford dictionary for ‘beauty’ – a definition that is limiting and contains implicit ageism and sexism, the owner of Rimmel London and CoverGirl argued.

“Seen through the lens of today’s society and values, the definition of beauty hasn’t aged well,” Coty’s CEO Sue Nabi wrote in an open letter to publishers.

“We believe it’s 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 asked 100 consumers to define beauty in a 'social experiment' video

Coty asked 100 consumers to define beauty in a 'social experiment' video

As part of its #UndefineBeauty campaign, Coty has also released a video showing its social experiment, in which it asked 100 consumers spanning a variety of nationalities, ages, races and genders for their definition of ‘beauty’.

“Being happy with who you are”, “having the freedom to be yourself”, and “if you feel beautiful, then you are beautiful” were among the answers given.

The respondents were then shown the current dictionary definitions of ‘beauty’ and agreed that they were limiting, urging viewers to sign Coty’s petition to change the common definition.

The campaign is Coty’s latest effort towards prioritising diversity and inclusion in beauty, which it announced in a rebrand last year, pledging to “address harmful stereotypes” in the industy.

Consumers can add their names to the petition at

Read more on Coty's inclusivity and diversity push:


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