India’s cosmetic colossus Hindustan Unilever Limited, also known as simply HUL, has announced that it will change the name of its Fair&Lovely cream in the wake of the global fight with anti-colorism.
The cream, which was around for decades, has always been a near-perfect response for insecure girls and women in India whose natural skin tone was deemed “too dark” by the Eurocentric beauty standards. Even though the HUL has already made attempts to tone down the promotion of lighter skin tone in their campaigns, early TV-adverts for Fair&Lovely heavily focused on women whose lives changed for the better as their skin became less dark. The main characters could be seen getting more confident, making it in show business, or becoming successful in a relationship after applying the Fair&Lovely cream and turning “whiter.”
Now, the HUL promises to not just change their name of its top product, but erase words like “whitening” or “lightening” from the packaging and official promotional materials. In the statement, the brand claims to acknowledge the racist stereotypes Fair&Lovely grew from and swears that it doesn’t stand for the “skin bleaching” practices. The cream, however, will continue to promise a more “glowing”, “even” and “unblemished” skin even under the new name, which is yet to be revealed.