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Dove launches 'As Early As Five'



To illuminate how young race-based hair discrimination is experienced

Stop hair discrimination in girls of color

2021 CROWN Research Study for Girls finds 53% of Black mothers, whose daughters have encountered hair discrimination, say their child experienced it as early as 5 years old.

Today, Dove releases a NEW body of research, "Dove 2021 CROWN Research Study for Girls," unveiling the alarming rate and young age at which Black girls experience hair discrimination in schools. As part of the brand's ongoing commitment to ending race-based hair discrimination via The CROWN Act legislation (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair), the study reveals that 53% of Black mothers, whose daughters have experienced hair discrimination, say their daughters experienced the discrimination as early as 5 years old, and approximately 86% of Black teens who experience discrimination have endured it by the age of 12.

Fueled by these research findings, Dove released a short film, As Early As Five, inspired by the far too many real stories of those who have experienced hair discrimination and bias in both schools and the workplace. As Early As Five depicts three scenarios of race-based hair discrimination experienced by a girl – starting in elementary school, in high school and into adulthood – all inspired by real life events.



Through this campaign, Dove continues its mission to raise awareness for CROWN Act legislation and spark urgency among parents, school administrators and advocates to sign The CROWN Act petition at Dove.com/CROWN to make race-based hair discrimination illegal nationwide.

Dove believes Black women and girls should have the freedom to wear their hair how they choose without the fear of job loss or education. As CROWN Coalition co-founders committed to ending race-based hair discrimination nationwide, Dove continues to advocate for local and federal governments to pass The CROWN Act to help protect the estimated 2.3 million Black children nationwide who are most vulnerable to race-based hair discrimination.1 Currently, The CROWN Act is law in 14 states (CA, CT, CO, DE, IL, MD, NE, NM, OR, NY, NJ, NV, VA, WA) and 34 municipalities.

Key findings from the Dove 2021 CROWN Research Study for Girls:
  • Hair discrimination is happening early and continues as she gets older
    • 53% of Black mothers, whose daughters have experienced hair discrimination, say their daughters experienced the discrimination as early as 5 years old
    • 86% of Black teens who experience discrimination state they have experienced discrimination based on their hair by the age of 12
    • 100% of Black elementary school girls in majority-white schools who report experiencing hair bias and discrimination state they experienced the discrimination by the age of 10
  • Exposure to hair discrimination has a negative impact on Black girls' self-esteem
    • While 90% of Black girls believe their hair is beautiful, the microaggressions and discrimination she endures has an impact on how she sees herself
    • 81% of Black girls in majority-white schools say they sometimes wish their hair were straight
  • Hair discrimination also has a generational impact
    • As previously revealed in the Dove CROWN Research Study (2019), Black women were 1.5 times more likely to have reported having been sent home or know of a Black women sent home from the workplace because of her hair2
    • The 2021 Dove CROWN Research for Girls reveals that 47% of Black mothers report having experienced discrimination related to their hair
    • Among them, 81% remember the experience happening by the time they were 12 years old
  • Hair bias and discrimination is prevalent in predominately white schools where Black girls are most vulnerable to racial bias and discrimination
    • 66% of Black girls in majority-white schools report experiencing discrimination
    • 45% of Black girls in all school environments report experiencing hair bias and discrimination
    • Trauma from these experiences cause girls to miss days from school
    • Teenage Black girls are missing a week of school due to hair dissatisfaction
"Our groundbreaking 2019 CROWN research study revealed that Black women are 80% more likely to change their hair from its natural state to fit in at the office. Now, this new body of research illuminates the pervasive nature and deep impact hair discrimination has on Black girls highlighting the horrific multi-generational impact of narrow beauty standards in America. These biases continue to perpetuate unfair scrutiny and discrimination against Black women and girls for wearing hairstyles inherent to our culture. This is unacceptable and why it is imperative that everyone join the movement to make hair discrimination illegal nationwide through the passage of The CROWN Act," says EVP & COO of Unilever North America, Esi Eggleston Bracey.

Join Dove in the movement to make race-based hair discrimination illegal and ensure a positive change for the next generation by signing The CROWN Act petition at Dove.com/CROWN.

The 2021 Dove CROWN Research Study for Girls was conducted by JOY Collective, a Black and women-owned firm, in July-August 2021 to assess the impact of hair discrimination before adulthood and the effect on the self-esteem in young Black girls.

An online survey was completed in the US by 1000 girls (500 Black and 500 white) age 5-18. The group included a natural mix of Black girls who attend predominantly Black schools, diverse schools and predominantly white school environments. The survey included questions about personality descriptors, presence of bias in school, school hair policy, impact of hair bias and recreation of the 1954 Doll Test. All data tested at 95% confidence level.

About Dove 
Dove started its life in 1957 in the US, with the launch of the Beauty Bar, with its patented blend of mild cleansers and ¼ moisturizing cream. Dove's heritage is based on moisturization, and it is proof not promises that enabled Dove to grow from a Beauty Bar into one of the world's most beloved beauty brands. 

Women have always been our inspiration and since the beginning, we have been wholly committed to providing superior care to all women and to championing real beauty in our advertising. Dove believes that beauty is for everyone. That beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety. Dove's mission is to inspire women everywhere to develop a positive relationship with the way they look and realize their personal potential for beauty. 
For 60 years, Dove has been committed to broadening the narrow definition of beauty in the work they do. With the 'Dove Real Beauty Pledge,' Dove vows to: 
  • Portray women with honesty, diversity and respect. We feature women of different ages, sizes, ethnicities, hair color, type, and style.
  • Portray women as they are in real life, with zero digital distortion and all images approved by the women they feature.
  • Help young people build body confidence and self-esteem through the Dove Self-Esteem Project, the biggest provider of self-esteem education in the world.
About The CROWN Coalition
The CROWN Coalition is a national alliance founded by Dove, National Urban League, Color Of Change and Western Center on Law & Poverty, to end race-based hair discrimination in America. The Coalition, now consisting of  85 supporting organizations, is the founder of the CROWN Act movement and was the official sponsor of the inaugural CROWN Act legislation in California in 2019.  For a full list of CROWN Coalition members, visit www.thecrownact.com.

The CROWN Coalition is proud to support anti-hair discrimination legislation to address unfair grooming policies that have a disparate impact on Black women, men and children and has drawn attention to cultural and racial discrimination taking place within workplaces and public schools. The CROWN Coalition members believe diversity and inclusion are key drivers of success across all industries and sectors.

About Unilever  
Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 2.5 billion people every day. We have 149,000 employees and generated sales of €50.7 billion in 2020. Over half of our footprint is in developing and emerging markets. We have around 400 brands found in homes all over the world – including iconic global brands like Dove, Lifebuoy, Knorr, Magnum, OMO and Surf; and other brands such as Love Beauty & Planet, Hourglass, Seventh Generation and The Vegetarian Butcher. 

Our vision is to be the global leader in sustainable business and to demonstrate how our purpose-led, future-fit business model drives superior performance. We have a long tradition of being a progressive, responsible business. It goes back to the days of our founder William Lever, who launched the world's first purposeful brand, Sunlight Soap, more than 100 years ago, and it's at the heart of how we run our company today. 

The Unilever Compass, our sustainable business strategy, is set out to help us deliver superior performance and drive sustainable and responsible growth, while:
  • Improving the health of the planet;
  • Improving people's health, confidence and wellbeing; and
  • Contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world.
While there is still more to do, we are proud to have been recognized in 2020 as a sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and - for the tenth-consecutive year - as the top ranked company in the 2020 GlobeScan/SustainAbility Sustainability Leaders survey. 
For more information about Unilever and our brands, please visit www.unilever.com

1 National Center for Education Statistics
2 Dove CROWN Research Study, 2019




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