Clean & Clear fairness line to be lifted from India as anti-racist dissent flexes muscle

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Clean and Clear to be discontinued in India
Clean & Clear fairness line to be lifted from India as anti-racist dissent flexes muscle

Johnson & Johnson will reportedly stop selling their popular Clean & Clear Fairness line products in India as anti-racist dissents continue to attack racial stereotypes one instance at a time.

India and its love for fairness creams have time and again been the wrangle of countless activism, documentaries, films, and discussions. Yet the nation continues to grapple sweeping popularity of fairness products. Reports suggest, by 2023 market revenues of fairness creams in India will cling at 5000 crores.

The recent announcement from the American chemist comes at times when the pressure to uproot racism through systematic targeting is growing across the world. The marketing of fairness creams is one such target of activists.

Clean & Clear fairness line to be lifted from India as anti-racist dissent flexes muscle (Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

The company has therefore decided to drop the fairness products from the markets of the Middle East and Asia, Reuters reports. In India, the Clean & Clear lineup will be affected.

J&J spokeswoman confirmed to the news agency on Friday, they will discontinue the fairness line of its Clean & Clear banner in India. However, the products will still appear in stores and online, until stocks run out and the company will not ship new stock. The fairness cream is apparently taken down from the Clean & Clear official website.


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“Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that some product names or claims on our dark spot reducer products represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone. This was never our intention – healthy skin is beautiful skin,” Johnson & Johnson told in a statement.

Johnson & Johnson sells other popular products in the Clean & Clear banner like pimple clearing facewash, Morning Energy facewash, blackhead removal scrub, and so on.

India and the lull of fairness

Just the mere color of skin determines the lifelong destiny of some people, especially women, in India. Inequalities on the basis of skin color is rampant in India’s socio-economic structures.

The penchant to achieve a fairer skin runs through household-to-household, thanks to the omnipresence of popular culture that rehearses the need for fair skin.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Through television adverts, social media posts, front-page newspaper banners, and many other mediums, the fairness product market reach the remotest corners of the nation. Endorsement of fairness creams by the popular B-town celebs, the beauty pageant among other factors spark the demand, ushering more darkness than fair.

The Black Lives Matter movement started after an African American was killed by a white Minneapolis cop by kneeling on his neck. The incident pushed the undercurrents of the civil rights movement in America to the surface and it has ever since spread globally, parallel to the pandemic.

Johnson & Johnson joins a bandwagon of Western companies to alter their offering in sync with the growing trend that is strongly critical of the slightest hint of racism and related practices.

What do you feel about a popular fairness product slipping out from the Indian shelves? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

(Cover image courtesy of @cleanandclear via Twitter)