Call it another by-product of the global Black Lives Matter movement, major consumer goods maker, Unilever’s India-arm has announced they’re scrapping the word ‘fair’ from the company’s “Fair & Lovely’ face cream, in a bold move.
The Anglo-Dutch giant’s Indian arm said on Thursday that the company is currently awaiting regulatory approvals to proceed with the re-branding that will not have the word ‘fair’ in the name. The new packaging will start to hit the stores after a few months.
The melanin-reducing cream in India is one of the most popular of its kind and has been under critical reviews for quite some time now. Perhaps, no time could have been better than this to make a note on matters that charge racial stereotypes.
Fair & Lovely’s brand appeal has time and again been under the scrutiny for pushing unnatural standards of beauty and stereotyping fair skin. However, in the past few years, the brand has significantly evolved.
In the public statement, the company says: “HUL announces the next step in the evolution of skincare portfolio reactivating its commitment to a more inclusive vision of beauty.
Over the last decade, the Fair & Lovely advertisement has evolved to communicate a message of women’s empowerment. The brand’s vision is to adopt a holistic approach to beauty that cares for people that must be inclusive and diverse – for everyone everywhere. The brand is committed to celebrating all skin tones,” Hindustan Unilever writes.
The chairman and managing director of Hindustan Unilever Sanjiv Mehta said in 2019 they removed the two-faced cameo and the shade guides from the packaging, which was received well by the consumers and the brand’s communication transited from fairness to glow, which is a more inclusive term.
The Fair & Lovely brand is known to endorse celebs like Yami Gautam and promoting advertisements that propagate pro-fairness notions. Until recently, the company had gradually started to adopt more inclusive portrayals of their product.
“We now announce that we will remove the word fair from our brand name Fair & Lovely. The new name is awaiting regulatory approvals and the back with the revised name will be available in the market in the next few months.”
HUL joined a host of brands across categories to adopt more inclusive nomenclature, portrayals, and graphics in sync with the time. The recent similar move was made by the US-giant Johnson & Johnson to drop fairness creams from their the Middle East and Asian portfolio, including India’s Clean & Clear Fairness lineup.
(Cover image courtesy of Adam Jones via Flickr. Under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license)