Lush Cosmetics and LGBTQ Inclusion

When it comes to Lush Cosmetics, there is a lot to rave about. I recently “discovered this brand late last year, and by “discovered” I mean, I always knew Lush Cosmetics existed, but never got around to trying their products. That all changed in July of 2016 when I strolled through a mall in Portland and decided to walk in. While I will get into my favorite Lush products in a later post, I want to take a moment to commend Lush for boldly doing what many companies will not.

As a heterosexual female, sometimes it’s hard to see the privilege that I have of looking at Valentine’s Day ads, or ads in general, that affirm romantic love as I experience it, between a man and a woman. But Lush recently switched it up in their January 19th Valentine’s Day advertisement on Instagram. The picture featured two men sharing a laugh and laying on each other in a bath tub full of swirling pink water.

I remember scrolling through my feed and thinking, “Wow, this is different,” almost shocking. It isn’t often that companies, let alone well-known companies, use their voice and their reach to state their opinion on social issues. Lush is a cosmetics company focused on skincare and makeup; it is not on their agenda to speak up about LGBTQ issues of equality, but I appreciate them for doing so.

Gay marriage was legalized in the summer of 2015, and while many people have accepted this, I feel as though in the corporate world, gay love is still taboo. This is weird because, in the world of marketing, advertising, and sales, love, lust, and sex all sell. Just think about the most recent perfume or underwear advertisement you’ve seen. The only problem is, it’s heterosexual love, lust, and sex that sells, not homosexual.

Truthfully, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s day or February to recognize the skew that our society has towards heterosexual love and its depiction in advertisements, they’re everywhere. But when will this change? When will the ads become more inclusive? For something to become a norm, it must be ingrained into the everyday fabric of society. This means that for us to see gay love as a norm and not taboo on a corporate level, we need to see it more often in society. Advertisements are a good place to start, and Lush did a great job of pushing the LGBTQ love and inclusion agenda.

This is not to say that Lush is the only company doing this. Cover Girl Cosmetics recently introduced their first Cover Boy toward the end of 2016, and Urban Outfitters does an excellent job of including LGBTQ members in their advertising content as well. It’s about time that corporate companies get with the times and acknowledge a large part of their consumer base. Companies like Lush, Urban, and Cover Girl have just begun to scratch the surface.

All in all, I am very impressed with Lush Cosmetics and their willingness to become pioneers for LGBTQ equality in corporate advertising. If we want things to be seen as normal, we must be the ones to make them more visible and accepted in our everyday lives. Lush took the first step with their Valentine’s Day advertisement last week, and I think other companies should do the same.

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