Unilever is set to make changes on the Fair & Lovely skin cream following criticism that it is promoting negative stereotypes against black skin tones.
In the new changes, the company is set to remove the references “whitening ” or “lightening” as well acknowledged that their branding suggested a singular ideal of beauty.
This comes after two separate petitions were filed and signed by more than 18,000 people requesting the firm to stop the production of this particular product.
One of the petition cited that the product was based on racism since it promoted anti-blackness with the phrases used.
“This product has built upon, perpetuated and benefited from internalised racism and promotes anti-blackness sentiments,” read one of the petitions as quoted by BBC.
The other alludes that the product promotes whiteness by advocating for lightening of skin to be beautiful or feel worthy.
While acknowledging that the concerns were genuine, the company’s president of beauty and personal care, Sunny Jain said that the company is committed to introducing a range of products targeted at all skin tones as part of efforts to embrace a more inclusive vision of beauty and celebrating diversity.
“We are fully committed to having a global portfolio of skincare 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. The brand has never been and is not a bleaching product,” said Jain.
Thread. Unilever evolves skin care portfolio to embrace a more inclusive vision of beauty, ending references to ‘whitening’, ‘lightening’ or ‘fairness’. https://t.co/OrMvrC2cJq
Sunny Jain, President Beauty & Personal Care, explains, “We recognise that the use of the words
— Mobeen Hussain (@amhuss27) June 25, 2020
This move comes at a time when protests have been rampant and witnessed across the world with major issues raised concerning the lives of black people who are said to be exposed to systemic racism and unwarranted deaths.