IT is a term traditionally used to describe innocuous shades of products, from lipstick to tights, but the use of ‘nude’ is now off the agenda in one leading high street store in an effort to promote diversity.



On the face of it, it seems a rather innocuous term to describe a fair shade of products ranging from foundation to lipstick and tights to lingerie, with 'nude' shades a common way to describe the palest of products.



High Street giant, Marks & Spencer, has stopped using the word 'nude' to describe shades across a wide range of its products, saying the move is intended to address assumptions about colour - for example, that "nude" should essentially translate to “white".


For example?

The use of the word has been replaced on the company’s website for hundreds of products. For the Stila stay all-day foundation and concealer, for example, the site states: “Noticed something different? We've been reviewing our product and colour names in line with our commitment to celebrate diversity and inclusion. We're removing any names that we don't believe reflect this commitment.”


So what are items called now?

The Stila foundation and concealer “used to have a variant called Nude” which M&S "have amended to Almond”. The store added: “Please don't worry if the name on its packaging looks different; our packaging takes a little longer to update.”


So no more “nude”?

Seems so. In its hosiery department, a glance at some of the products reveals that “she names have changed”. M&S states that “Opaline” is  “formerly known as Nude, Moonstone formerly known as Illusion, Rose Quartz formerly known as Natural Tan, Rich Amber formerly known as Suntan and Rich Quartz formerly known as Cocoa”.


It’s part of an ongoing effort?

Last summer, M&S released a statement highlighting its commitment to “creating an inclusive culture” for customers and staff. The retailer pledged to ensure its marketing would be more inclusive and feature “a more diverse model mix, including people of different races, ethnicities, shapes, sizes and disabilities”. M&S added: “We’re also constantly reviewing our product offer to make sure we’re more relevant, more often for all customers.”


It’s not just M&S?

In the last couple of years, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary was among those to alter the definition of the word “nude”, having previously said it related to a “white person’s skin”. It now says “nude” relates to "having a colour (as pale beige or tan) that matches the wearer's skin tones”. Merriam-Webster's Director of Marketing said at the time of the change: “Our principal aim in our dictionaries is to provide definitions that are accurate and clear. In addition, we are attentive to comments from the public about our definitions, and recent comments concerning one of the definitions of "nude" led us to review current evidence of the word's use in the fashion industry".