Doing beauty differently is what Avon has been advocating for 135 years.
This year, the #1 direct-selling beauty brand strengthens this movement during this year’s Pride Month, which annually celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, alongside their stories and experiences.
Avon Philippines, in partnership with comic artist Hulyen (@hulyen), produced a three-part comic series that illustrates Beauty for All, Avon’s advocacy that puts the spotlight on democratic beauty not just for women, but for everyone—regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression.
“I think everyone deserves to celebrate their own version of beauty especially if it makes them feel good about themselves,” shares Hulyen. “It’s really great that a major beauty brand like Avon is rallying behind this advocacy because it encourages you to be yourself and celebrate what makes you you.”
Each strip depicts issues faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. The comics were distributed to hundreds of thousands of Avon representatives in more than 190 branches across the Philippines, encouraging them to learn more and understand better the LGBTQIA+ community.
In this scene, an individual struggles to remember the various labels in the queer spectrum. A friend reassures her that it’s important to be open about learning new things.
It also provides context that Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (or SOGIE, for short) goes beyond just the girl, boy, bakla, and tomboy that most Filipinos are more familiar with.
Another comic depicts a queer person who “magically” transforms into her true self when she’s with her friends. This has become a common experience with LGBTQIA+ individuals all over the world. According to Stonewall, only 46 to 47% of queer-identifying individuals feel open and confident to share their sexual orientation or gender identity with their families. Likewise, allies of the community should help create safe spaces where queer individuals can open up and express their true selves.
The last comic visualizes Avon’s commitment when it comes to promoting Beauty for All. It depicts an Avon representative who managed to provide quality beauty and self-care products for her customers, allowing them to truly enjoy their version of beauty no matter what their SOGIE.
“I have learned so much about Pride and how times are changing. It’s something new to me, but we have family and friends who are LGBTQIA+. Understanding them is a great way to show how much we respect them, and through these, I understand them even more,” Avon Representative Jennifer Limyu shares after reading the comics about the LGBTQIA+ community.
Max Closa, Avon Philippines’ Business Development Manager, welcomes Avon’s efforts to rally behind its employees in causes that involve them. “I’m so proud and thankful to be a part of a company who supports the LGBTQIA+ community. The changes might be gradual but it’s already a huge step for us,” Closa shares.
In line with the advocacy, Avon Philippines also recently held a SOGIE Sensitivity Seminar for Associates at their main office. Miss Trans World 2020 Mela Habijan spoke at the event where she discussed SOGIE, the different issues the community is facing, and how one can be a better ally. The trans beauty queen, host, and actress also made a SOGIE explainer video.
To further extend its efforts in inclusivity, Avon Philippines also supported members of Manila’s Drag community with various products like the Limitless collection (the first gender-free intimate apparel in the country). The company also reached out to the Home for the Golden Gays, which provides support and care facilities for elderly LGBTQIA+ people.
“Avon continues with its commitment to create a better world for everyone. With Avon, everyone can be brave, brazen, and beautiful all at the same time because Beauty is for All—and that is how it should be in the years to come,” Avon PR and Communications Lead Marion Limlengco says.