Was “Because I’m worth it” used in 1968 riots??

Because I'm worth it with Chewbacca

Because I’m worth it from imgur.com

Can anyone help with this?

I read recently, in the excellent book “Parisians – An Adventure History of Paris,” by Graham Robb, on page 371, that the phrase “Parce que je le vaux” (translated as “Because I’m worth it”) appeared as one of the slogans during the French students’ riots in 1968. I have been unable to verify this, and it’s annoying me a tad. The fact that a supposedly revolutionary slogan had been hijacked and used in the completely not very revolutionary beauty industry by L’Oréal would be fairly ironic, but I’ve been unable to verify that this is true.

L’Oréal themselves tell the story that it was Ilon Specht, a Californian junior copywriter with McCann Erickson in 1973 who came up with the phrase and they actually do see the slogan as revolutionary. Mainly because it was originally used in ad which was the first from a woman’s perspective (supposedly). Interestingly US L’Oreal’s Facebook page gives the date of origin or the phrase as 1971, (just three years after the riots) as does Jane Fonda at the 40th anniversary of the slogan , who was presumably told that by someone in the company. Yet their own company websites pin the dates to 1973.

There’s also a slight difference in the phrase in French “Parce que je le vaux” during the riots “Parce que je le vaux bien” by L’Oréal (because I’m really worth it). Not much of a difference, mind, just a bit of emphasis.

I’ve across some websites in English and French listing the slogans used, including : Presumés coupables and Bureau of Public Secretsand, “rien,” as they say.

If anyone has come across a reference to “Because I’m worth it” or “Parce que je le vaux” in relation to the student riots of ’68, please let me know!!!

PS, Did you know that the famous phrase changed to “Because you’re worth it” in the mid 2000s and that now it’s “Because we’re worth it?” “The shift to “we” was made to create stronger consumer involvement in L’Oréal philosophy and lifestyle and provide more consumer satisfaction with L’Oréal products.” according to Wikipedia. So there.


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2 thoughts on “Was “Because I’m worth it” used in 1968 riots??

  1. I wrote that line…”because I’m worth it” when I was a senior Copywriter living in Nyc.
    It has no relationship to the french slogan that you reference. Was just my own
    personal passion. The truest description of its birth is in Malcolm Gladwell’s writings.
    The phrase itself is not very unique…just the way it was used…to change the world of
    women…just a little.

    Best regards, ilon

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