Wednesday, February 17, 2021Congress reports

Cosmetics: a question of humanity?

Anthony Mathé

The pandemic has highlighted the need for contact, reassurance and support. And it is not insignificant if the word “human” is increasingly used in brand communication. But ultimately, what is behind this word? Anthony Mathé, semiologist, dissected it on the occasion of La Matinée de la Beauté on December 11, 2020, organized by the CEW France.

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~ 3 minutes

“Human, that is one of the tastiest terms”, introduces Anthony Mathé. “A notion that encapsulates everything that makes sense today, our ways of doing things, our uncertainties, our beliefs, our convictions, our times, the future of our sector and much more.”

According to the semiologist, when we say “human”, we have in mind other words that are somewhat the “totems” of our professional and industrial practices. These words are:
• Love
• Attention
• Authenticity
• Benevolence
• Kindness
• Care
• Diversity
• Listen
• Empathy
• Generosity
• Kindness
• Sharing
• Solidarity

But as man also has his share of shadows, we can just as well think of:
• Nonsense
• Complexity
• Conflict
• Contradiction,
• Despair
• Trouble
• Fragility
• Inconsistency
• Insensitivity
• Paradox
• Sensitivity

“Of course, we can consider the human being in all that it has to be criticized,” says Anthony Mathé. “But it is more interesting to apprehend this notion with regard to what we do in semiology. From an anthropological point of view, it’s not simply beauty or emotion. It is frameworks of thought, symbolic and practical, which allow us to create meaning together. And since the first …

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