The long-drawn controversy over ‘Fair & Lovely’ range of products manufactured by the Indian unit of Unilever might finally come to an end. The company has been criticised for promoting negative stereotypes against people with darker skin. It is likely to drop ‘Fair’ from its brand name, reported Hindustan Times (HT).
Many cosmetic companies have faced a backlash on social media in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We are making our skincare portfolio more inclusive … a more diverse portrayal of beauty,” HT reported Hindustan Unilever Chairman Sanjiv Mehta as saying. The company also sells the popular Dove and Knorr range of products.
Sources had told Reuters earlier that the company was considering such changes.
South Asia is a huge market for products that promote skin lightening but societies here are increasingly questioning their own fetish for fair skin.
“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,” Reuters reported Sunny Jain, Unilever’s president of its beauty and personal care division as saying in a statement.
The ‘Fair & Lovely’ brand name change is subject to regulatory approvals, Hindustan Unilever said. The company did not say what the new brand name would be.
Other companies such as L’Oreal, Johnson &Johnson might follow suit. All products with the sales pitch of words such as skin brightening, whitening, lightening could soon become a thing of the past.