A week after announcing that it will rebrand its flagship skin lightening cream and drop 'Fair' from 'Fair and Lovely', Hindustan Unilever came up with a fresh product name, 'Glow and Lovely'.
The move comes in the backdrop of a rise in anti-racism protests sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement, and HUL hasn't been the first brand attempting to make up for the sale of products, which has so long perpetuated negative stereotypes related to colourism.
Appeals to stop marketing Fair & Lovely have been around for years, but the movement received a shot in the arm recently.
“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," Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care, had said in a statement released on the company's website. It added given that the company is evolving, it’s important for them to "change the language".
The skin cream for men will be called 'Glow & Handsome'.
However, the new names seem only a way of selling the same old colurism in a new bottle. And that's what social media thinks.
The product continued to received similar backlash as netizens including Indian film director Shekhar Kapur questioned how much of a difference it makes by removing the word "fair" and adding "glow" made. Would the change in name end the racism and colourism that people face on the basis of skin colour in India?
Twitter was flooded with netizens expressing their dislike and hopelessness towards the re-branding and viewed it as nothing but just another marketing strategy. The brand was severely trolled with many asking whether it's a skin product or an LED bulb!
So Fair and Lovely will now be called Glow and Lovely? C’mon Hindustan Lever. For years you’ve been profiting by destroying our nation’s young girl’s self worth by making rude comments about dark skin.Now prove your ‘intentions’ by having a dark skinned girl on your packaging.— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) July 2, 2020
HUL announced the new name of #FairandLovely, it’s now changed to #GlowandLovely. How does it make any difference u removed fair & added glow. So this won’t end the racism that people face on bases of skin colour @HUL_News. Infact the name should have been like “lovely-you” etc https://t.co/1P09POywz2— Sarita Pandey (@SaritaPandey8) July 2, 2020
Yes. One needs to stay within the permissible levels of #Casteism_In_India with a product with uncalculable social costs. @HUL_News #FairandLovely #GlowandLovely pic.twitter.com/j4Vh2NhOru— Ashar (@Ashar_009) July 2, 2020
Fair and lovely to be known as Glow and lovely.What a changeover mama!— Darshan (@TheMessimerizer) July 2, 2020
"Glow and Lovely"Cream hai ya LED bulb😂— Rituraj PR19 (@19iism) July 2, 2020
Many other beauty brands across the world have been contemplating the same in view of backlash.
"Words such as skin brightening, whitening, lightening could soon become a thing of the past on all labels and product sales pitches," a source from L'oreal Paris had said earlier.