Decades of critique for promoting fairness as a symbol of beauty fell on deaf years but finally in keeping with the mood of the world Hindustan Unilevers (HUL) drops the word ‘Fair’ from it’s flagship beauty brand ‘Fair and Lovely’. The decision has found support across segments and groups in the country.
While netizens welcomed the move by the company to rebrand the cream, celebrities too took to social media to laud the move.
Bollywood actress 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.”
Suhana Khan, who herself has faced prejudice based on her skin colour, also 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 ‘Fair and Lovely’ and drop the word ‘Fair’ 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.”
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.