Makeup and beauty are sweet subjects but just sometimes they turn nasty…when cyber bullying comes into the mix. This insidious style of bullying can have devastating effects. Coty and Rimmel are taking a public stand against it with supporting tools. Monique Smith – Marketing Director, Coty, headed up the Australian launch of Rimmel’s campaign, held at the company’s media agency HQ – Hyland Media, Sydney.

Coty and Rimmel believe that beauty should make you feel happy and never sad, and that freedom of self-expression is critical to the beauty we want to represent through our brands and their communication, states Smith. “Rimmel has a clear purpose to inspire people to experiment and express their authentic selves with make-up.

“Our role beyond our products is to broaden the definition of beauty and inspire others to be genuine with their look because their beauty is what makes them unique. As a brand we are against narrow definitions of beauty, people being shamed, judged and criticised because of their looks. This behaviour manifests itself widely today in the form of beauty cyberbullying. We wanted to understand the scale of this issue, why it was happening and what its impact is on those it affects? So, we commissioned a major piece of research across 10 countries, talking to over 11,000 young women aged 16-25. One in 4 women have experienced beauty cyberbullying. This means we all know somebody who has been affected.

“We project that 115 million images are deleted from social media every year, because of the comments or judgments that others have posted against them. The impact of this behaviour reaches beyond the screen. It undermines people’s confidence in themselves and stifles their creativity, changing how they feel about themselves or how they look. With 57% of those bullied not telling anyone about their experience, we felt that now was the perfect time to give it a voice. A voice that is loud and clear. It is not okay to hide behind a screen and shame someone for the choices they have made to express themselves. They are who they are because this choice is only theirs to make. We also learnt that 65% of those bullied lost confidence in themselves and that is something that as a brand we want to address and change. We want to give people the confidence and the platform be their authentic self. To embrace their individuality and believe that their own individuality is beautiful”.

Rimmel created the campaign to encourage everyone to start talking about beauty cyberbullying. To give people the confidence to call others out. “We want people who do bully, or who share comments, to think about the impact this is having on their victims. We want them to think before they say something”.

Rimmel is also working with non-profit organisation The Cybersmile Foundation, helping parents, schools, children, teenagers, and older adults understand how to manage and respond to beauty cyberbullying.

“We will champion everyone’s right to express themselves, to help more people feel confident, and to support them to stand up to beauty cyberbullying”, concludes Smith.

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