Burt’s Bees Celebrates Women Who Turn Their Challenges Into Strengths In New Campaign


When we look at the type of beauty campaigns being shown in mainstream media today, compared to what was being shown 10 years ago, a LOT has changed. It was more than an decade ago when Dove, arguably the leading brand in the advertising shift, started breaking the mold with their “real beauty” campaigns featuring a range of different body shapes, ages, and messages (instead of high fashion runway models) relating to diversity and empowerment, instead of conformity.

We love this strong new direction in the beauty and fashion world, spurred on by the “femvertising” trend of giving permission to (mostly) women to not just love themselves as they are, but to truly celebrate their authenticity. So any chance we get to share the badass, beautiful, and barrier-breaking campaigns in line with this idea, we take it!

Burt’s Bees, a beauty brand launched in 1984 known for its use of natural products to nourish your skin, has released a heart-warming campaign called ‘Love Your Nature’ which promotes women loving their natural selves, the way it promotes the use of natural products. They released two videos featuring two different women who have an unusual story to share.

Diandra Forrest is a woman who was born with albinism and grew up feeling ashamed to leave the house because of what she looked like. Albinism is a genetic skin defect which prevents the body from naturally producing melanin (this is what determines the color of skin) and instead leaves the person with extremely fair and translucent skin. In some cases, it can cause poor eyesight, as popular albino model Sean Ross has talked about in his awesome, inclusive campaign ‘In My Skin I Win’.

In the video below, she explains her journey going from insecurity about her appearance, to truly understanding her own beauty and confidence, which eventually led her to a modeling career.

“Growing up in the Bronx, I was the lightest thing on the block. I stood out. I just wasn’t black enough. I didn’t really have friends. I didn’t feel secure at all,” she said.

“Because other people were putting me into the category of ‘different’, I started to define myself as ‘different’ also,” she goes on to say. One day she was scouted by a fashion photographer which led to her being signed to a modeling agency, and soon after that, walking in a New York Fashion Week show.

“When I was a child I wanted to fit in more. And now I’m very comfortable standing out and being who I am. We’re all different, and we should love that about ourselves,” she said.

The notion of “different” or “otherness” is something that is becoming a heavily discussed topic, especially in today’s culture across America where issues of race, sexuality, economic level, and gender are key factors in how society often teaches us how to define ourselves. When we learn to stop “othering” people, we begin to realize that in fact we are ALL somehow unique and can feel a little less anxiety about not fitting in.

Agency account supervisor Katharine Belloir told Adweek.com that the messages features in these videos exemplify how Burts Bees have always done things differently to other brands.


“This campaign is one way to encourage a spirit of authenticity and expand the definition of beauty. The target audience is women 18-34. This is the age where women are coming into their own as adults, a time when an example of self-acceptance can inspire and resonate on a personal level,” she said.

The second woman to be feature in the campaign is musician Mandy Harvey, who completely lost her hearing at the age of 21. Instead of giving up on her dream to spend her life singing and making music, Mandy decided to look at her barrier as an opportunity to change her perspective and plan of action.

“In life you have a lot of barriers, and you have two choices: you can allow yourself to stay stuck and do nothing, or you can find a way around and experience life,” she says in her video.

She has been performing since the age of 4, and during her time at music school she started noticing that she was having difficult understanding her teachers. Losing her hearing was her biggest fear, as it would be for any musician, but Mandy decided to take the “find a way around” option from what she outlined above.

“I could’ve just stayed angry and fearful, but I made a choice to face by fears and find happiness again,” she said.


Similar to the iconic story of deaf musician Beethoven, who famously sawed the legs off of his piano in order to have the keys against the ground so he could hear the vibrations, Mandy started her own musical education all over again and found techniques which would also allow her to hear the vibrations through the floor and against her body, depending on whether it is a high or low frequency instrument.

An ironic twist to her story is that Mandy was always intimidated by the thought of performing in public. But now that she has lost her hearing, she says that fear has also gone because she can focus solely on what she is doing, not the audience.

These stories are wonderfully powerful, and may leave you feeling confused as to what this has to do with a beauty brand. While it has become an easy trend for a well-known name to pivot off the female empowerment momentum, this campaign doesn’t feel inauthentic or cheap. You barely notice the Burt’s Bees advertising or product placement, which was a great way of allowing each woman’s story to be the focus.

“We are surrounded by images of who we are supposed to be, and constantly told we are not enough. My hope is that someone is encouraged by these ads to find beauty in who they are just the way they are and feel excited to celebrate their uniqueness,” Mandy told Adweek about the campaign.

If beauty really is subjective and different for each person, we will let you be the judge of the videos, and hope there is something for each of you to take away and be inspired by.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.