Skin tones and the biases associated with it has been an oft discussed topic in recent times. And amid that, a frequently criticised phenomenon -- fairness creams and other such products -- has cropped up in the discussion.
One of the pioneers in this segment, Fair & Lovely has been called out many a time over the years for its products that equate beauty with fair skin and promise to lighten your skin colour. Now, to be fair (pun unintended) the company had earlier reacted to criticism by removing some aspects of its branding, such as comparative before and after pictures.
But on Thursday, Unilever went a step further, announcing that all words implying fairness would be removed from products. "We’re committed to a skin care portfolio that's inclusive of all skin tones, celebrating the diversity of beauty. That’s why we’re removing the words ‘fairness’, ‘whitening’ and ‘lightening’ from products, and changing the brand name," the company tweeted.
A press release quotes Sunny Jain, President Beauty and Personal Care as saying that the company was looking at a more "inclusive vision of beauty". He added that over the years the company had changed its advertising, communication and packaging in South Asia, and now, changing the brand name would be the next step forward.
"We want Fair & Lovely to become a brand that celebrates glowing and radiant skin, regardless of skin tone,” Jain was quoted as saying.
Netizens are somewhat divided over the news. While some were of the opinion that this was not quite enough and would not make much of a difference, others rushed to create jokes about the same.
A quick perusal of Twitter also throws up a before and after joke format, where people's skin shade appear to be darker after Unilever's announcement. Naturally, this has set off some denizens of the social media platform.
There was also a segment of people who busied themselves wondering about what the new name of the brand and its products might be. One Twitter user even claimed that Unilever was officially changing the name to 'Glow & Lovely'.
Take a look at some of the posts: