APPG explores what can be done to increase representation of visible differences in beauty

On 30th September, the APPG held a panel event on Visible Differences in the Beauty Industry with Changing Faces and Avon UK, to explore the experiences of the visible difference community and learn about the work Changing Faces and Avon are doing to increase the representation of people with visible differences in the beauty industry.

The Group heard from Catherine Deakin, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Changing Faces and Lauren Payne, Brand & Causes Manager at Avon, in addition to three of Charging Faces’ inspirational champions, Amba Smith, Tulsi Vagjiani and Natalie Ambersley.

Changing Faces, their ambassadors, Tulsi, Amba and Natalie, and their corporate partner, Avon UK, spoke to the APPG about their #PledgeToBeSeen campaign and living life with a visible difference.

Left to right: Amba Smith, Tulsi Vagjiani, Natalie Ambersley.

One in five people in the UK today lives with a “visible difference” like a birth mark, scar or skin condition that makes them look different. Sadly, they face exclusion and discrimination in all areas of their lives. One in four will experience a hate crime because of how they look. And more than half of those with a visible difference feel completely ignored in advertising – whether that’s for a beauty product, in job recruitment or public services. By ignoring this community, businesses are missing many opportunities, particularly now as they need more customers through their doors and visiting their websites.

Changing Faces, the UK’s charity for everyone with visible difference, launched its #PledgeToBeSeen campaign so more businesses will sign up to recognise people with visible differences.

Speaking in Parliament following the session, Co-Chair of the APPG Carolyn Harris MP, said:

Will [the Minister] join me in congratulating Avon as the first business to sign the pledge and who have featured women with visible differences as models, and will you encourage more businesses to join them by committing to the government communications service to signing this important pledge and featuring more people who look different in its campaigns and adverts?