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‘Rethink praise’ to help girls achieve their potential

Mar 8, 2018

“If she can hear it, she can be it,” says Avon Brazil.

The results of Avon Brazil’s courageous ‘rethink praise’ project are being discussed at the famous South by Southwest (SXSW) annual conference in Texas on 9 March.  As part of the conference - which provides an opportunity for global professionals to learn and network – Avon’s Danielle Bibas, Chief Creative & Content Officer Global Marketing, is participating in a panel taking on one specific social marker: how the choice of words we use to praise girls has a defining influence on their lifetime self-esteem.

Trailer - Watch the full documentary below

Industry experts will reflect on key take-aways from Avon Brazil’s research and resulting documentary campaign, Rethink Praise (aired in 2017) and discuss the role of the beauty industry in supporting women’s empowerment starting in childhood. 

The campaign reached nearly 30 million people and was praised for its brave approach in casting a spotlight this important societal issue.  Born from research that showed that 80% of praise words given to girls are solely based on their appearance whereas boys are more likely to be praised on behaviours and personality traits – girls are often “pretty” or “gorgeous” in contrast to boys being “brave” or “clever”. 

The aim of the documentary and associated campaign was to raise awareness that something as innocent as praising a child could actually be limiting girls’ potential by reinforcing the notion that their value comes from their looks.  The panel at SXSW will explore this challenging concept for the beauty industry which has long been accused of a having a narrow definition of femininity.  How do the words we use shape the future of girls around the world?  How can we push past this barrier and help women fulfil their potential?

Full documentary

Avon Timeline

Avon Timeline
Downloadable PDF(131 KB)


For in-depth corporate archives, please visit Avon's online digital archive collection at the Hagley Museum. Click here to launch the site.