Hindustan Unilever to drop ‘Fair’ from ‘Fair & Lovely’ skin cream

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In a fantastic move to embrace a more holistic and inclusive definition of beauty, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) announced the removal of the words ‘fair/fairness’, ‘white/whitening’, and ‘light/lightening’ from its products’ packs and communication.

As part of this decision, the Fair & Lovely brand name will be changed in the next few months once the legal and regulatory requirements are appropriately met.

In a press release, Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care, justified the move by saying, “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.”

While admitting that the advertisements do not reflect the brand’s values, Jain said that the before-and-after skin tone impressions and shade guides had been removed in 2019 and the communication of the product now focuses on glow, radiance, and skin clarity rather than skin lightening.

This skin care product is available primarily across Asian nations such as India, Indonesia, and Thailand.

The move comes in the wake of most cosmetics companies reevaluating their products and marketing strategies in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement. The stereotypical ideas of beauty are now being questioned and many organizations are now reassessing and rebranding their product lines and campaign advertisements.

Recently, Johnson & Johnson also decided to move away from the fairness cream category in India and the Middle East.

What do you think about this move by Hindustan Unilever? Will it help to reduce the stigma associated around dark skin? Do share your views with us in the comments section below.

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