Is just dropping ‘Fair’ from ‘Fair and Lovely’ enough? COMMENT

Amid the Black Lives Protests and other debates happening all over the world, Hindustan Unilever drops the word ‘Fair’ from its extremely popular fairness cream, ‘Fair and Lovely’. Find out more
Is just dropping ‘Fair’ from ‘Fair and Lovely’ enough? Is just dropping ‘Fair’ from ‘Fair and Lovely’ enough?
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As Indians and belonging to the land of ‘dusky’ people, we’ve grown up with the mentality that ‘fair is better.’ I’m sorry to break every Indian’s bubble here and say that the average Indian’s skin tone is not ‘white’ and to be precise here - ‘fair’ and there’s very less that you can do in that department. We’ve all grown to with a wrong notion and to be honest, while we have a society and the whole upbringing to blame there’s also the influence of the beauty industry and other external forces that have imbibed this racist culture in our minds.

From job interviews to marriage and literally everything else in between, life gets a little difficult when you’re judged by the colour of your skin which is something you’ve not even chosen in the first place. (Not to forget body-shaming, classism and lingual barrier, but that is clearly a debate for another day). This is exactly what the ongoing protests for the Black Lives Matter moment stands for. Whether it be monetary gains or be just about creating a brand identity in front of the world, brands, companies and international corporations have used this ‘colour’ propaganda and profited a whole lot. 

Unique skin tone range across the world

With us entering 2020 and changing the way we have had our conversations for years, brands are looking back at what they’ve built and profited on over the years. Hindustan Unilever (an Indian subsidiary of Unilever) almost has INR 3000 crore market in the fairness cream department, so you can only guess how many people wished they had a lighter skin tone. 

Just days before the ‘Fair and Lovely’ rebranding news broke out, Johnson & Johnson made a statement that it will no longer produce and sell Clean & Clear and Neutrogena spot reduction products that represent that spots are bad or the white skin tone is better. Johnson and Johnson said in a statement. "This was never our intention - healthy skin is beautiful skin." Kudos to accepting where they were wrong and changing with the changing times!

Coming back to ‘Fair and Lovely,’ and their decision to drop the word ‘fair’ from the product name, a report in Economic Times read, ‘Chairman Sanjiv Mehta told ET that the name change had been in the works since last year and that the company had applied for a new trademark a few months ago. According to an information on the website of India’s Trade Marks Registry, HUL had applied for a new brand, ‘Glow & Lovely’, on June 17, 2020.’

Whether the rebranding was ‘purely coincidental’ or not, we are at least happy to know that the times are changing and people are having the right conversations and changing the mindset we’ve grown up with. 

While newer paths are being created and brands are re-evaluating their strategies and positions in the market, this is definitely going to create a positive change for the generations to come. 

However, we’d like to end this debate of name changing and brand positioning with a few thinking points:

- Is just dropping the word ‘fair’ and rebranding the ‘same’ product enough?

- Will the brand position remain the same? 

- Will the product attributes also change or will it still promote ‘fair skin is better’ but in disguise?

While time will tell and show what happens to more than a thousand crore product and the consumer reach that is mind-boggling, we are only wishing that the conversation continues and strikes a positive chord even in the minds of consumers. 

What are your thoughts about it? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Anonymous 6 days ago

It's just the beginning of a new world. #positive

Anonymous 6 days ago

It's just the beginning of a new world. #positive

Anonymous 6 days ago

Beautiful thinking

Anonymous 6 days ago

I don’t understand the obsession about fairness. People should aim for smooth good skin then any color looks good. This brand should do serious introspection and change the motive. Help world move forward not backward

Anonymous 6 days ago

It's like rebranding cigarettes with a new name- Siddha stogies or Healthy lights or something.

Anonymous 6 days ago

More than enuf...wat else do u want them to do?shut down...they sold wat the public demanded...these r all nothing...wat about training the kids for IIT?from grade 3?ever heard of that joke?that sells big time in South India...and now those parasites have spread their claws to the North also...the kids r put into rooms with zero ventilation they r thought only math n science with minimum English...for the kids the day starts at 7 and ends at 7:30 with zero extra curricular activities they r confined to that bench and that room thru out the day...Many many kids have committed suicide unable to take the pressure but they have covered them up...every one knows about the menace...fight this if u can!

Anonymous 6 days ago

PV PLEASE POST THIS TIME: Just who are you calling PARASITES? South Indians? While I agree that the NATION-WIDE obsession with studying and marks is excessive it is a separate conversation for another day. Yes, we South Indians value education, but this trend did not start with us. I had plenty of north Indian classmates who were under extreme pressure from their parents to study, study, study and get "cent percent." A north Indian once told me that it was "bad" to take the humanities, because I wouldn't get a high-paying job. These rigid and narrow-minded attitudes to studying and academics thrive throughout the country. Now in addition to mocking us for our kaali skin tone, we South Indians are being blamed for study mania. People like you set our country back at least two centuries. So buzz off Indian racist. PV Please Post. Don't be biased. I will keep writing this comment till you post it.

Anonymous 6 days ago

I agree with you

Anonymous 6 days ago

Yes a start on a journey to correct decades of advertising and promotion that further reinforced the Indian/South Asian obsession with the white/light skin tone. Also as it has been rightly pointed out, just dropping “Fair” doesn’t help. Unilever & its competitors have a social and moral obligation to help this journey succeed. Make the change in how you as a corporate promote the product to the buying public. Re-educate them on why beauty is deeper than the color or blemishes on the skin, whether it is female or male. Then we may say that these fairness cream companies are walking the talk.

Anonymous 6 days ago

Here you go again ... Hypocrisy at its best... Why aren't men creams been targeted isn't fair and handsome their ...fair girls must compromise with dark men because they are men ..have you seen any Indian men liking dark girls even if they are been dark... Change mindset of society

Anonymous 7 days ago

Everyone is obsessed with fair at household level. We need to change our mindset at home .. but it’s a good start

Anonymous 7 days ago

Dropping Fair is just not enough. If the product is still meant to show the same fairness results then what difference does it make by just changing the name? All the fairness, whitening, and lightening creams should be banned. People must learn to embrace their true skin color.

Anonymous 7 days ago

There are a lot of depigmentation products in the market for all skin colours and types. Then there are facial bleaches. What removing fair from this creams means is that it was a fraudulent oroduct always, foeget fairness, it coulx not even help with hyperpigmentation at all, which is often caused by sun tan, various hormones etc. So, why do we need this product anyway? If its just another cream, then it better has a uniwue proposition.

Anonymous 7 days ago

At least something good is beginning. Post it pinkvilla.

Anonymous 7 days ago

Doesn't matter any more. The damage is done.

Anonymous 7 days ago

Changing the name to a whitening product does change anything. It is called political correctness. Why should this product even be there. Why would India need it? That’s the question they At fair and lovely need to ask themselves.

Anonymous 7 days ago

Say anything it's FAIRNESS crm at the end

Anonymous 7 days ago

does the product still contain bleaching agents? have they reformulated it??

Anonymous 7 days ago

They wouldn't say .

Anonymous 7 days ago

Something positive is there sumthing negative is ther

Anonymous 7 days ago

They are doing it to earn more money

Anonymous 7 days ago

Healthy and lovely

Anonymous 7 days ago

Boycott the product. Cream didn't change name cast.

Anonymous 7 days ago

Finally sumone said it. I've had this debate with my frnds and after spending hours, we think this is just a strategy to be politically correct in this wrld

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