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Avon UK unveils first ever model with a visible difference, as its research* reveals 80% of women feel too much pressure from the media to be perfect.

Avon has today named Changing Faces ambassador Catrin Pugh, 25, as one of the faces of its latest beauty campaign, as part of an ongoing commitment to using more diverse models in its creatives

  • The move comes as Avon announces Stand4her – a new global initiative that aims to improve the lives of 100 million women each year
  • Catrin, who suffered 96% burns in a coach accident six years ago, is the beauty giant’s first ever model with a visible difference, and will front Avon’s ‘Perfect Nudes’ beauty campaign
  • Avon is the first beauty brand to sign up to charity Changing Faces’ pledge to represent more people with visible differences in beauty and fashion campaigns

LONDON, 4 March 2019 – Avon has today unveiled 25-year-old burns survivor Catrin Pugh as one of the faces of its new beauty launch. The announcement comes as Avon becomes the first beauty brand to sign the Changing Faces pledge to feature more diverse models within its campaigns, as part of its new global initiative, Stand4her.

The beauty giant made the pledge after its research revealed that 80% of women claim to feel too much pressure from the media to be perfect, and 60% feel pressured to meet a certain beauty standard. Surveying over 14,000 women globally, Avon commissioned the research to establish the barriers holding women back from reaching their full potential in all areas of their lives.

According to the study, 40% of women claim that they do not resonate with the women that they see represented in the media, which prompted Avon to look at the women featured in its own campaigns.

In response to the research, Avon has today announced Stand4her, a global initiative to tackle some of the greatest barriers that are holding women back from achieving their full potential, which aims to improve the lives of 100 million women each year.

To kick start the initiative in the UK, Avon has joined forces with Changing Faces, becoming the first UK beauty brand to sign the charity’s pledge to represent more people with a visible difference in their campaigns over the next year. By working together, Avon and Changing Faces aim to change the conversation around ‘looking different’ by featuring more models with visible differences.

Catrin, from Wrexham, who is an ambassador for Changing Faces, was left with only the soles of her feet unburned after a coach she was travelling on in the French Alps in 2013 crashed and burst into flames. She has been chosen as a face of Avon's campaign to launch the new Perfect Nudes collection of lip shades, which launches on 15 March.

The campaign will be the first to reflect the charity’s pledge to feature more people with visible differences in campaigns. Catrin will be joined by a host of diverse faces including male beauty influencer Gary Thompson, also known as The Plastic Boy, 60 year old influencer Lucia Whitehouse - Grandmother Pukka, and Love Island star Megan Barton Hanson.

Catrin, said: “I’m so excited to be working with Avon on this project. To be a part of a beauty campaign that challenges traditional beauty stereotypes, and the stigma around ‘looking different’ is so refreshing." "

I hope that it will open the eyes of people in the beauty and fashion industries, and society in general, that we should be championing a diverse range of role models, especially for young people. I hope to inspire others to embrace their appearance, no matter what you look like.”

“For people with a visible difference, the beauty counter can be an intimidating place to go, because most brands champion traditional beauty ideals. I love makeup, but the experiences I had at beauty counters following my accident made me want to hide away. Through featuring in the campaign, I want to send out the message that it’s ok to be different, and that true beauty is about being proud to be yourself.”

Jan Zijderveld, Avon Chief Executive Officer, said: “Stand4her is what we do, every day – it’s what we’ve been doing for over 130 years. We’re reigniting Avon’s strong sense of purpose and doubling down on our efforts to support women and provide more meaningful and rewarding opportunities for our beauty entrepreneurs.”

In addition to its ‘Power of Beauty’ pledge, Stand4her will tackle some of the issues that women feel are holding them back in their careers, health and relationships.

Despite the global increase in flexible working patterns, Avon’s research revealed that women still feel that they are held back from running their own businesses, with half of women feeling like they live in a culture that doesn’t encourage female entrepreneurs. Additionally, 49 per cent of women don’t feel confident to share their opinions and speak in groups. This underpins projections that women’s economic potential is being limited by as much as 50%.

However, the benefits of work are far greater than economic with Avon’s research also finding that:

  • 77% of women say that working increases their confidence
  • 65% of women say that working has improved the way in which they are treated by others
  • 74% of women say that working has increased their ability to be a role model for their children

Avon also remains committed to its goal to help eliminate gender-based violence against women and girls, with its research exposing how far the epidemic contributes to women being held back from advancing their lives. The cost to the economy of gender-based violence estimated at $4.4 trillion a year, corresponding to 5.2% of annual global GDP.

Initiatives under Stand4her include:

  • Avon UK’s Power of Beauty Pledge will increase diversity in Avon beauty campaigns, starting with its Perfect Nudes colour range, which launches later this month and features burns survivor Catrin Pugh, as Avon signs up to the Changing Faces pledge to include more people with a visible difference.
  • Avon Fair for Her Programme, to help to improve working conditions for c.250,000 women across Avon’s supply chain. The programme aims to enhance the social procurement programmes already in place to ensure that women working in the third-party factories and fields that supply Avon’s products have the best opportunities to advance their careers.
  • Avon Foundation for Women Scholarship Programme awards Representatives and their families with financial contributions that cover educational costs, such as tuition and associated costs, helping scholars pursue their lifelong educational goals.
  • The Avon Brand will encourage self-expression by breaking down stereotypes through a new brand strategy which democratises beauty representing women of all demographics, ethnicities, sexualities and ages, providing accessible, quality products at affordable prices, straight from the catwalk to the sidewalk.
  • The Avon Breast Cancer Promise, supported by the Avon Foundation which aims to reach 100 million women annually to ensure every woman knows the risks and signs of breast cancer, and how and when to take action.
  • The Avon Promise to Help End Violence Against Women and Girls aims to educate 100 million women a year about violence against women and girls by providing information on where to seek help, encouraging conversation around the issue, and improving support through partnerships with charities, awareness events and changing global policies.

Avon and the Avon Foundation are exploring new collaborations with a range of organisations to help advise, enhance and launch programmes under each strategic initiative – including The Cherie Blair Foundation, Business for Social Responsibility, Vital Voices, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Refuge, and Cancer Research UK.

Jan Zijderveld, Avon Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our core purpose has never been more relevant. Today female economic participation in the workforce remains below that of men, but we can be an agent of change, challenges ingrained barriers and open up opportunities. With 100 million women who work with us and buy from us around the world, and millions more in the communities in which we operate, Avon has a critical role - alongside other partners - to make a real and lasting impact.