Women's Activism NYC

Ilon Specht

1943 - 2024

Date Added:

Ilon Specht is the woman behind the famous Loreal tagline “Because you’re worth it”. Many of us have heard these words from the mouths of famous women like Beyonce or Gwen Stephannie, but what about the woman who came up with them? Ilon Specht, formerly known as Ilene Specht, was born in Brooklyn New York to Sanford and Annet-Jacobs Specht.  She attended Syracuse University at sixteen and transferred to U.C.L.A. when her parents moved to Los Angeles. Following her expulsion from U.C.L.A., Ilon wasted no time beginning her career. Ilon started her career in advertising as a secretary, and at twenty-three became a copywriter at McCann-Erikson in Manhattan. Being one of few women in a male-dominated field in the 1970s was no easy task. Many of her male colleagues came up with advertisements that painted women as objects, portraying the idea that the only reason a woman would want to use any product was to look good for men. Ilon wrote her genius line in just five minutes after being angered by her colleagues. “Because I’m worth it”, and a woman saying those lines was unlike any advertisement at the time. Although that is what Ilon was most known for, she has also done amazing work advertising for other companies. She has worked as the creative director of Jordan McGrath case and Taylor, the Peace Corps, Red Cross, and Underalls Pantyhose. Specht didn’t stop working after her advertising career was over and opened a home and decorating business in California, perhaps taking after her parents and their furniture business. Ilon lived to be 81 years old and died from Endometrial Cancer on April 20, 2024. She is a woman that we should all try to embody in our daily lives and would want us to remember that we are worth it, despite anyone who says otherwise.  

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