One of the world’s largest beauty and skincare brands gathered together a selection of industry experts to ask this question. You would expect a beauty and skincare brand to know the answer to this question. However, NIVEA is aiming to create discussion around what beauty really means and inspire consumers to start thinking more positively about their own beauty both inside and out. NIVEA has been listening to feedback from consumer’s worldwide, who are saying loud and clear that beauty for them is as much about how they feel as well as how they look and that it is truly individual.
So with the impossible task of trying to define what beauty is, this group who included a top photographer, a model booker, a cosmetic technician,an esteemed beauty journalist, a teen expert, a psychologist and an holistic therapist gave NIVEA some interesting perspectives. The beauty journalist controversially stated that beauty is ageist, sexist and classist – and so it is, but then she goes further ‘beauty is an essence, but it’s what you do with it that matters’. The teen expert believed beauty is about how you feel on the inside, stating ‘beauty is about confidence’., as well she might. The Premier model agent agrees beauty is more than just a pretty face saying ‘a lot of girls fall into the trap of thinking “I’m pretty, I don’t have to have a personality”‘ yet conceding that something more than prettiness is needed in the business of being beautiful.
Someone who has been working in the beauty business from different angles all her life says everything that she does is about being beautiful. Yet in the discussion she admitted to struggling to now see that beauty isn’t just skin deep. Gloria Thomas, an ex model talks of her personal experience when she says ‘models may be extraordinarily beautiful on the outside but not feeling it on the inside’, so its no surprise that her work now focuses on finding holistic solutions for health, wellbeing and personal empowerment from within. Donna Dawson sums up her point of view brilliantly ‘beauty is the perfect poise between mind and body. It makes us feel better about ourselves and is an extension of the inner self. It is the promise, an anticipation, a hope as yet unfulfilled’.
Having asked cultural commentator and creator of the design museum, Stephen Bayley, to chair the forum, NIVEA gathered a true mix of ewpoints,from the facile to the intense and the highbrow to the ordinary. The reason for NIVEA to do this is to respond to the changing self image of women who now have a much more holistic sense of beauty with increased emotional values that NIVEA would like to more strongly reflect in its communication. This does not mean prescribing to women about what beauty is, more to ask them the question of what it means to them.