Unilever has said to remove the word “fair” from its widely popular skin-lightening cream, Fair & Lovely. It means that the product will now be known as Lovely but currently, the formula is the same as before.
This move comes after the awareness raised by Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement on institutionalized racism in the wake of George Floyd protests in America. The FMCG conglomerate has been long criticized for promoting a specific idea of beauty and success with this fairness cream. This cream is a symbol of stereotyping people with darker skin and giving them the idea of becoming whiter and fairer.
Recently, the backlash has gotten intense which forced Unilever to reportedly rebrand their fairness product. The company claimed that they want to stand against racism by making their product more inclusive which represents a diverse classification of beauty.
People Think Rebranding Of Fair & Lovely Is Hypocritical?
Many didn’t buy Unilever’s statement and shared their disapproval on twitter. Fatima Bhutto says that it does not work like that if a company just changes the name but the product is still available to be used for the same purpose i.e. skin whitening or lightening.
They saw right through the hypocrisy of Unilever. The fairness cream is promoted as an inspiration to be successful and relates that success with having a fair and lovely skin.
This user replies to Unilever that fairness products make consumers feel insecure. The bombardment of advertisement mentally affects the consumer because it encourages having a whiter skin in order to achieve anything in life.
Unilever has profited so much from this idea over the years. Many users believe that there is so much to be done rather than just changing the name.
Unilever’s Decision Was Only Good For Memes
It did not make much sense what Unilever meant by changing the cream’s name to just Lovely. According to consumers, this was just another way of monetizing the genuine feelings of people. This user describes the so-called rebranding in a meme:
As the cream is still available to use for fairness purposes, the intentions of Unilever are unclear as whether they are really against racism.
Well, at least the cream can now finally say that it has become lovely like this hit item song of Bollywood
However, people denied considering the cream lovely by any means as it still supports racism. They think that Fair & Lovely brand has always made money out of racism so the transformation is also a business from them which they are trying to expand.
Can Face Whitening Creams Be Discontinued?
Given the argument, it is clear that creams like Fair & Lovely are not required by the majority of consumers. CEO of Unilever, Alan Jope claims that businesses can contribute towards developing a society that accepts everyone. Well, it won’t be a contribution if there was a more sustainable solution for the consumers. The author Shailja Patel suggests that the CEO must back up his words by totally banning the products related to skin whitening or lightening.