Viola Davis' gripping self-worth speech for L'Oreal hits hard in a time of racial strife

Film in brand's 'Lessons of Worth' campaign from McCann Paris has deep resonance in current environment

Published On
Jun 01, 2020

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Viola Davis has brought deeper meaning to L'Oreal Paris' famous tagline, “Because I’m worth it”—one that resonates deeply in this moment of racial strife in the U.S. 

The actress and activist had signed on as a new spokesmodel from the beauty brand last fall, and she recently emerged with a message arguably more gripping than any other we've previously seen from the company. 

“You’re worth it,” she says. “Three words we’ve all heard at least thousand times. You’re worth it, but do you really understand what that means? It’s a beautiful reminder to us all that we have worth. You have reason and rarity. There is value in each and every one of us, including you—that is precious even on the days you might not feel it. You never depreciate in value. Those words are there to remind you, so to all those watching who feel like that or have ever felt like that, focus on what I’m about to say and repeat after me. I’m worth it—ok? ... Do not doubt yourself and this time, speak it louder, really loud. I’m worth it! “

Her words travel deep into the gut, as if she’s channeling all the tough-as-nails characters from her career—from Annalise Keating in “How to Get Away With Murder,” to Veronica in “Wives”—to drive home a lesson that should never be forgotten, no matter what the outside world says. 

The film is part of the L'Oreal's "Lessons of Worth" series that it debuted in January with McCann Paris in an effort that aims to bring more dimension to the brand's long-running "worth it" tag.

“Empowerment has always been part of L’Oréal Paris; being a positive external voice for all women is essential. Hearing that one is beautiful is a start, but believing that you are—knowing that you have value and worth—is real power,”  said Charlotte Franceries, global president of McCann Beauty Team in a statement.

While the message targets the brand’s female demographic, it easily speaks to the world at large right now—and Davis’ words seem to reflect the demands for equality and respect made by protestors taking a stand against racial injustice across the U.S., following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. 

On social media in response to Davis’ tweet of the new film, Twitter user @Lady Thotiana said, “Thank you for showing up with a positive, empowering message. Our nation is so divided and in these trying times we need to stick together.”