Hindustan Unilever is to change the name of India’s popular skin complexion cream, Fair & Lovely. The company is rebranding itself under pressure over racial stereotyping. While netizens welcomed the move by the company to rebrand the cream, celebrities too took to social media to laud the move. Suhana Khan, who herself has faced prejudice based on her skin colour, hailed the move. She shared a post on her Instagram that reiterated the brand’s announcement. It read: “Hindustan Unilever announced that it would rebrand its skin -lightening cream eFair and Lovely’ and drop the word eFair’ from the product’. She further added: “It has also committed that it will remove all suggestions that success is linked to skin tone or colour in its communication.” Also Read - Shah Rukh Khan's Daughter Suhana Khan's Pout Game is Unmissable, Video goes Viral | Watch
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Calling it a beautiful beginning, Abhay Deol penned a note to congratulate people who made efforts to achieve this feat. He wrote, “It took a world backlash and the #blacklivesmatter movement to give us a push in this direction. But make no mistake, all of you who have been vocal about the need for a cultural shift in regard to the sale and endorsement of fairness creams in our country contributed to this victory. We have a long way to go in breaking our conditioning of what constitutes for beauty, but this is a small step in the right direction. It’s the starting point to a long road ahead. What a beautiful beginning!” Also Read - Farhan Akhtar on Abhay Deol's 'Lobbying in Award Shows' Post: If You Seek Validation, You'll be Disappointed
Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut took to Twitter to express her support for the decision. On her behalf, her team wrote, “It has been a long and sometimes a very lonely battle but results only happen when the whole nation participates in the movement”.
Bipasha Basu also shared a post to praise the step taken by the brand and shared her experience of being a dusky beauty in India.
Richa Chadha shared an old photo of herself. In the photo, the actress is seen wearing a T-shirt with ‘Not Fair But Lovely’ written on it. Along with the picture, she wrote, “T shirt printed in 2015. While we’re dismantling other BS in 2020, let’s celebrate our complexion! (sic).”
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“NOT FAIR BUT LOVELY”, I had gotten this printed on a T shirt back in 2015. Yesterday, the brand @fairandlovely_id and I were finally in agreement! 👏🏽💕❤️Yesterday, they dropped the word FAIR from their product name… Before you attack the brand for only paying ‘lip service’, please remember, it takes many generations for ideas to change. There is demand and hence there is supply…We have been told since we were children, that fairness is the only definition of beauty! It is also another unfortunate byproduct of colonialism and casteism! But it’s 2020, and a lot of BS is getting dismantled ! It took me many years of unlearning to gain confidence and start LOVING my complexion! Der aye durust aye, I say. I welcome this decision by the brand… and it’s not easy… brands have a thousand meetings before they change even the FONT in their logo… I hope slowly and steadily mindsets change… we must continuously and without any influence of the West, define our own idea of beauty. Beauty must be inclusive! Bravo @fairandlovely_id 👏🏽 . . . मुझे लगता है कि भारत की तरह,बहुत से ऐसे देश हैं जहाँ अंग्रेज़ों ने राज किया।अक्सर ऐसे देशों में ग़ुलामी एक मानसिक रूप भी धारण कर लेती है।हमें लगने लगता है की हमारा रंग, हमारी भाषा, हमारा खाना अच्छा नहीं है… और यही अंग्रेज़ हमें लगातार बताते भी थे… ये दुर्भाग्यवश है की हम अपनी ही चीज़ों को हीन, (inferior) समझकर उन्हें बदलने की कोशिश करते हैं… बचपन से ये बताया जाता है कि गोरा रंग ही ख़ूबसूरत है ! पहले तो फ़िल्मों में गाने भी यू ही बनते थे जैसे कि … “ हम काले हैं तो क्या हुआ दिल वालें हैं”… क्या ऐसा गाना आज की डेट में बन सकता है? सब चीज़ों को बदलने में समय लगता है… हमें अपने रंग पर गर्व होना चाहिए! . . . #NotFairButLovely #RacismIsAVirus #RichaChadha #richareccomends #Truth #lockdown #selfhate #postcolonial #actorslife #fairandlovely
In a statement, HUL said over the last decade, Fair & Lovely’s advertising 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.
In early 2019, the brand’s communication moved away from the benefits of fairness, whitening and skin lightening, towards glow, even tone, skin clarity and radiance, which are holistic measures of healthy skin.
HUL also removed from Fair & Lovely’s packaging, words such as ‘fair/fairness’, ‘white/whitening’, and ‘light/lightening’ that could indicate a fairness-led transformation. The cameo with two faces showing shade transformation, as well as the shade guides were removed from the packs. The Company will continue to evolve its advertising, to feature women of different skin tones, representative of the variety of beauty across India.
The new name is awaiting regulatory approvals and HUL expects to change the name in the next few months.