This 23yo Mumbai girl filled a petition against Fair & Lovely

The news of Hindustan Unilever removing the word ‘Fair’ from their brand Fair & Lovely went viral as soon as it was announced. The company announced this as a part of their re-branding exercise. Although the reaction to this has been varied, a 23-year-old Mumbai girl, Chandana Hiran, is amongst the ones celebrating. She had filed a petition against Fair & Lovely over their depiction that only fair women can be beautiful, and demanded them to change their narrative

Chandana Hiran filed petition against Fair & Lovely

Growing up in a country like India, a lot of girls have been on the receiving end of racism and colourism practiced here. Despite the majority of the population falling under the spectrum of brown, being fair is seen as the ultimate goal one should aim for. And the cosmetic industry is full of products which promise you whiter skin.

It’s not just the promise of fairer skin by the brand Fair & Lovely, what incited a lot of people is the narrative they used to advertise it. The equating of being brown to being low confidence. And therefore getting rejected from job offers and wedding proposals did not sit well with many. And this is what made Chandana Hiran file a petition against the company.

Fair & Lovely

‘I am really tired of fairness cream commercials telling me that being dark means I won’t have a career, a partner, or even basic respect in society! She writes in her petition. But why target only Fair & Lovely? There are other brands marketing their creams and lotion on the basis of skin whitening. While other brands have moved to more subtle words like ‘skin brightening’. Fair & Lovely still stuck to its original name and narrative. And the fact that it’s one of the most popular brands in the country only propels this message to the masses.

Last week the band announced that they are dropping the word ‘Fair’ from their brand as a part of a rebranding exercise. Although there’s no statement from the company giving credit to Chandana’s petition. It is safe to assume that the uproar which has been going on for quite a while now, has finally had an impact.

Also Read: My Pincode – A project bringing people together in the middle of a pandemic

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