My phone beeped last night with the infamous news headline that read – ‘Fair and Lovely’ being rebranded as ‘Glow and Lovely’.
I opened the news article and it said,
The Hindustan Unilever Company has decided to rename and rebrand one of their most popular products amidst the Black Lives Matter movement. They will be changing all the product packaging along with its name to make it more ‘inclusive’.
Here is why this tone-deaf step taken by this company bothers me!
First of all, the choice of the name. I mean, did they have a discussion on what’s the closest word to fair but doesn’t directly say fair so that people are fooled of their idea of inclusivity.
Let me just give you a dictionary meaning here.
Fair refers to people with light skin pigmentation. It can be used in ambivalence with words such as pale or white. Glow refers to a steady radiance of light.
What makes you ‘glow’ in darkness – light!
Do I have to explain what’s the opposite of dark here? I get it, one word can have multiple meanings. Maybe they have the most innocent intention behind this.
But here is why I don’t buy this ‘innocence’!
For years and years, this product has been marketing the society’s obsession with ‘fair skin’ and bluntly showcasing that dark skinned people have to become fairer to become successful or loved. They have received counterbasts multiple times due to how problematic their whole marketing scheme is. Since Yami Gautam became the brand ambassador, they started showing that fair skinned girls stand out in the crowd more. This was their idea of transition into progressiveness – putting down dark skinned girls (again!). This has been going on for so many years – and it’s baffling that they are not well aware of the toxic mentality they are promoting.
And suddenly now they have realized that they have to inclusive?
So, why change the name suddenly? Here’s an answer!
Because it benefits their marketing. The BLM movement is in full swing in the west. There are so many protests happening and people and multinational companies are getting called out. So, if they change their entire branding in support of the global movement, it will definitely put them in the news. The repackaging and rebranding will cost them a lot of money. And removing ‘fair’ from their name is a sly marketing strategy targeted for profit in longevity.
They still don’t care about the way they harm the self esteem of so many young girls and boys. They still don’t have the accountability to address the toxic message they have been spreading. They simply don’t care.
They have said that they will include models with all skin tones in their advertisement from now on. I would like to believe that they had an epiphany where they finally realized what they had been doing this whole time is wrong and downright prickly, but sadly that’s not true.
We don’t need you to change your name. We don’t care about how much money you’re spending on rebranding. We want your product to be discontinued because it’s problematic. It has been problematic for a long time now. And clearly, you don’t have the intention to change.
But using a scared human rights movement for your own selfish marketing with no good intention is wrong. If you want to do some good, DISCONTINUE FAIR AND LOVELY! That is simply the only way you can redeem the damage you caused in the modern society.
In regards to your ‘big’ name change – I have a legit suggestion, how about ‘Tone-deaf and Ugly’.