Consumer goods company Unilever has announced it will rename its skin-lightening cream in India and Bangladesh as anti-racism protests continue across the world.
The locally marketed “Fair & Lovely” cream will have the word “fair” removed from the name, however it is unknown what it will be replaced with.
The brand made a statement on Thursday that it “wanted to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty” amid a growing global anti-racism sentiment.
Across many Asian countries, lighter-toned skin is coveted as it culturally reflects a higher social class.
Hindustan Unilver head Sanjiv Mehta said in a statement: “We are making our skincare portfolio more inclusive and want to lead the celebration of a more diverse portrayal of beauty. The brand has never been and is not a bleaching product.”
Unilever’s decision to change the name has divided social media users, with some praising the company, while others lambasted the guise of changing the name for the sake of “celebrating diverse beauty” but continuing to sell the products.
Skin-lightening creams have been endorsed by major Bollywood celebrities, such as Priyanka Chopra Jonas (pictured).
Chopra Jonas has received backlash for alleged hypocrisy in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement yet also having been an ambassador for skin-lightening products.
Unilever isn’t the only company to face criticism for its skin-lightening products, with L’Oreal slammed for similar products. Meanwhile, while Johnson & Johnson said it would stop selling some of its Neutorgena and Clean & Clear products, which are advertised as dark-spot reducers in Asia and the Middle East.
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