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Coty Campaigns for New Beauty Definitions in Dictionaries

Sue Nabi, Coty’s CEO, has written a letter to major dictionaries asking to change their definitions of beauty.

Coty Inc. has found a new cause.

The beauty giant kicked off its #UndefineBeauty campaign Monday, taking aim at dictionaries’ definitions of beauty. “Specifically, the examples cited under the current entries for ‘beauty’ across the leading English dictionaries are both limiting and exclusive,” read a statement from the company.

The statement said “she was a great beauty in her youth” — used as a dictionary example of how to use the word beauty — is in need of rewriting. “The campaign calls for the dictionary publishers to review these examples and remove the implicit ageism and sexism they currently obtain,” read the statement.

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Coty chief executive officer Sue Y. Nabi has also penned a letter to major dictionaries requesting revisions, which was also signed by the company’s executive committee and senior leadership team.

“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,” Nabi said in the statement.

Conjunctively with Nabi’s open letter, the company has also inaugurated a petition on calling for the definition changes in dictionaries.

“At Coty, we believe that no one can control or dictate what is, or is not, beautiful,” Nabi continued. “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.”