Unilever, the Indian arm of global consumer said on Thursday it would rebrand its skin-lightening cream ‘Fair and Lovely’, which has been criticized for promoting negative stereotypes related to darker skin tones. In a tweet, Unilever confirmed that it will drop ‘Fair’ from the name of the cream. The company said that it wants to promote a product portfolio that is inclusive and cares for all skin tones and celebrates diversity.
“We are fully committed to having a global portfolio of skin care brands that is inclusive and cares for all skin tones, celebrating greater diversity of beauty. We recognise 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. As we’re evolving the way that we communicate the skin benefits of our products that deliver radiant and even tone skin, it’s also important to change the language we use,” Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care, explained.
The company said that it is also removing the words ‘fairness’, ‘whitening’ & ‘lightening’ from products, and changing the Fair & Lovely brand name. Hindustan Unilever said it would stop using the word ‘Fair’ in the brand, adding that the new name for the cream was awaiting regulatory approval.
“We have been working on the evolution of our Fair & Lovely brand, which is sold across Asia, progressively moving to a more inclusive vision of beauty that celebrates skin glow. We have changed the advertising, communication and – more recently – the packaging in South Asia, and we think it’s important that we now share the next step that we have been working on: changing the brand name. We will also continue to evolve our advertising, to feature women of different skin tones, representative of the variety of beauty across India and other countries. We want Fair & Lovely to become a brand that celebrates glowing and radiant skin, regardless of skin tone,” Jain added.
“The product is designed to improve skin barrier function, improve skin firmness and smoothen skin texture – all of which help enhance radiance and glow, as currently represented in advertising and communication,”the company said.