Its skin cream for men will be called ‘Glow & Handsome’, Hindustan Unilever said, a week after announcing it would rename its skin lightening cream that has drawn flak for promoting negative stereotypes related to darker skin tones.
“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,” said Sunny Jain, president of Unilever’s beauty and personal care division.
In India, the biggest market for “Fair & Lovely”, fairness products have long been endorsed by leading Bollywood celebrities, as well as other youth icons.
Adverts have regularly featured two faces showing skin tone transformation, as well as shade guides to show “improvement”.
Unilever’s India unit, in which the company owns a 67% stake, said it had shifted from such marketing in 2019 and would continue to evolve it to feature women of different skin tones.
Several users on Twitter applauded the move, though some said it was too little, too late.
“This is a big win, but it’s only the beginning,” Nina Davuluri, who in 2014 became the first Indian American to be crowned Miss America, told Reuters.
“While Unilever removing words such as ‘fair, white, & lightening,’ and changing the ... brand name is a step towards inclusion, it’s only one piece of a much larger fight to end colorism.”
Public records indicate Hindustan Unilever last week filed an application to trademark a logo for soaps, creams, shampoos and other products under the brand name “Glow & Lovely”.