Hindustan Unilever, the producers of popular fairness cream ‘Fair & Lovely’ recently decided to do away with the ‘fair’ in its name, amid the rising allegations of it being racist.
But is that enough, people asked.
fair and lovely changed the name of their skin bleaching product and said that’s enough activism for me today— myesha thee stallion (@myeshachou) June 25, 2020
The un-‘fairness’ of it all. If it’s still a ‘fairness’ cream, doesn’t matter what you’re calling it. Also, renaming or removing some words, won’t erase the deep-rooted biases that have been perpetuated for generations because of such products #FairandLovely https://t.co/SbNCT7lati— Arunoday Mukharji (@ArunodayM) June 25, 2020
What does dropping ‘fair’ from the name accomplish if the product is the same? The vision behind it, is the same. It’s job is the same.
Throwing more light on the issue, is cartoonist Sushmita, who explained her struggle with the stigma around dark skin on her Instagram handle, The Doodle Monster.
Because of her dark skin, she’d often be called ‘kaali’ and made fun of.
Things became so bad, that she stopped stepping out of her house. She thought that maybe this will make people kinder towards her.
That is when she got the idea of buying this fairness cream ‘fair & lovely’. However, contrary to the claims amde by the company, it didn’t work.
And even though that broke her initially, she realised that the problem wasn’t the colour of her skin. It was the conditioning.
The bullying continued, though, but she realised that she was being too harsh on herself and must take charge of her life by embracing everything about herself.
What followed was her transformation. She finally stood up to her bullies and ‘ditched the f*cking fairness cream’.
And now, her message is simple. Dropping ‘fair’ from ‘Fair & Lovely’ doesn’t do much if the ideas and the notions are the same. If the prejudice is still there. If people still think dark skin is inferior.
You can read her complete post, here:
View this post on Instagram
I post this today with the hope that no other child has to live and grow up feeling inadequate. . . . . . . . . . . #fairandlovely #fairskin #colourism #racism #insecurities #bully #bullying #illustration #doodleart #doodle #indianillustrator #digitalart #digitalillustration #procreateart