L’Oréal Paris Canada is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its infamous slogan, “Because We’re Worth It”.

“Because We’re Worth It” has resonated not only with Western consumers but also in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, reflecting the extraordinary journey of women’s empowerment over the past five decades. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we couldn’t think of a more suitable phrase that continues to empower women of all ages and backgrounds to believe in their beauty and sense of worth.

The original tagline “Because I’m Worth It” was coined in 1971 by 23-year-old female copywriter Ilon Specht. The phrase first appeared in the US for L’Oréal’s Preference Hair Color advertisement, which the brand described as a product of its time. “The women’s rights movement was emancipating women from the housewife persona of the ’50s and the tagline was a reflection of what the brand stood for,” L’Oréal said

With the women’s rights movement front of mind, Specht wanted to do something revolutionary for the time period — she wanted the woman in the ad to speak for herself. “In advertising [created by men] the woman was a complete object, I don’t think she even spoke,” Specht said. “I wanted to portray a real woman who was more assertive and more contemporary. I wanted the ad to benefit her.”

Today, L’Oreal Paris continues to champion women’s rights while being committed to ending street harassment with NGO Hollaback! to through a platform they’ve created called “Stand Up”. This platform includes training sessions that provide tools to help those victims or witnesses to harassment in public spaces.

Below are some responses from exclusive interviews from some of L’Oréal Paris’s most notable spokespeople.

Jane Fonda

For you, what does “Because I’m Worth It” mean?

For me, “Because I’m worth It” means that I deserve feeling safe, being loved and respected, and paid as much as a man is for doing a job of the same value. 

You are a spokesperson for a brand that is celebrating women empowerment for 50 years, how do you feel?

Being a spokesperson for a brand that has celebrated women’s empowerment for 50 years makes me feel I’m on the right team. And, given that I’m almost 84 years old, it also means the brand respects women’s age and not just youth. 

How the tagline “Because I’m Worth It” can inspire women? 

The tagline” Because I’m Worth It” can inspire women to start thinking of themselves as worth it. ’It’ meaning worth feeling safe, being loved and respected, and paid as much as a man is for doing a job of the same value. 

Viola Davis

How beauty has helped women in their lives?

I think that the only time beauty really helps a woman in her life, is if she defines it for herself. If she liberates herself from the world’s idea of beauty and her value and she begins to listen to her inner voice of what makes her beautiful, which is her authenticity. Otherwise, if it’s just connected to the smoothness of her skin and her youth then I don’t know how she is able to retain that throughout her entire life as she ages. But I think the value of beauty is really tapping into that inner authenticity. It’s almost like we need to redefine it. And once we redefine it as the inner then that begins to become empowering. 

What is your message for the younger generations of women today?

My advice to them is at some point they have to redefine what it means to be successful and what it means to live a life of significance. That at some point they need to listen to their inner voice and tap into what brings them any semblance of joy. I think that when you’re young one of the things that happens is you listen to everyone else’s opinion about your life and where you should be and what makes your life valuable. My advice is to listen to your own inner voice and to define it for yourself and do it as soon as you can. And as powerfully as you can. 

What is your fondest memory of your experience with L’Oréal Paris?

Saying for the first time “Because I’m Worth It”. That for me was my favorite moment when I did a photoshoot with Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda, and uttering those words for the first time, as a dark skin black woman of a certain age, was absolutely very powerful.

Gemma Chan

What was your first impression of the brand L’Oréal Paris? 

I remember the first makeup that I borrowed from my mum was a red L’Oréal Paris lipstick – a classic! And the smell of her Elnett hairspray.

Which woman has supported you the most in life? Who is your female role model?

My first inspirations were my grandmothers and my mother – all strong, courageous women. As time goes on, I increasingly find myself inspired by women from all over the world.

What are the causes you are personally standing up for? 

As an ambassador for UNICEF I am passionate about protecting and supporting children and helping to ensure they have equal access to healthcare and education. 



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