The year 2020 is really the year of extensive changes as Unilever announces to remove the word ‘Fair’ from its popular beauty product Fair & Lovely after major backlash.
In an attempt to be inclusive of all skin types, Unilever which is the largest producer of soap in the world has now decided to eliminate the word ‘Fair’ from its famous skin whitening cream Fair & Lovely.
Amir Paracha, Chairman & CEO, Unilever Pakistan Limited, said, “Unilever is an organization that is evolving continuously, and today we have taken the next bold step in our evolution by committing to a more inclusive and diverse portrayal of beauty.”
No more ‘Fair’ for being lovely
This decision came after the world boomed with the slogan “black lives matter”. A white policeman has recently killed an unarmed black man on the streets in the US. Since then, the world is raising voice against racial supremacy and ‘white superiority’ culture.
In a statement released by the company’s representatives, they said, “The brand is committed to celebrating all skin tones.”
Meanwhile, in addition to the changes to Fair & Lovely, the rest of the brand’s skincare portfolio would also reflect the new vision of positive beauty, the statement said.
We’re committed to a skin care portfolio that's inclusive of all skin tones, celebrating the diversity of beauty. That’s why we’re removing the words ‘fairness’, ‘whitening’ & ‘lightening’ from products, and changing the Fair & Lovely brand name.https://t.co/W3tHn6dHqE
— Unilever #StaySafe (@Unilever) June 25, 2020
“The company’s skin lightening range of products have been strongly criticized for promoting stereotypes against people with darker skin.”
“We recognize that the use of the words ‘fair’, ‘white’ and ‘light’ suggest a singular ideal of beauty that we don’t think is right, and we want to address this,” said Sunny Jain, the president of Unilever’s beauty and personal care division in a statement.
It’s not a change, but its a start
Some activists say changing the name and branding is only a start.
The un-'fairness' of it all. If it's still a 'fairness' cream, doesn't matter what you're calling it. Also, renaming or removing some words, won't erase the deep-rooted biases that have been perpetuated for generations because of such products #FairandLovely https://t.co/SbNCT7lati
— Arunoday Mukharji (@ArunodayM) June 25, 2020
While many commend Unilever for taking a step in the right direction some say its only a start and that “we must take a further step and discontinue products that promote ‘fairness’ as the only form of beauty.”
It seems a step in the right direction. However, no one can remove colorism in a day. Media or beauty products should also not consider darker-skinned are not inferior.
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