L’Oreal is removing the language “white,” “fair’ and “light” from beauty products it’s now describing as “skin-evening,” making it the newest corporation to succumb to virtue-signaling pressure amid the BLM protests.
The world’s largest cosmetics company announced the change on Friday, after being called out by social networking users and activists who’ve criticized brands for sharing social media posts in support of Black Lives Matter, while still selling their very own problematic products. Skin lightening products are an $8.3 billion-a-year business, but public pressure is forcing brands to choose political correctness over profits.
I’m honestly perhaps not surprised a brandname like L’oréal did this to you, when around the world, in south asian countries, they boost skin lightening products and use big SA celebs to market those products. Like @Loreal, is this not you?? pic.twitter.com/Vo95TAySJd
— Natasha (@princessnihari_) June 3, 2020
The move uses a number of Bollywood actresses, including Priyanka Chopra, were challenged on social networking for posting their support for Black Lives Matter when they had previously endorsed skin-lightening salves, like Garnier Light Ultra, which is owned by L’Oreal.
L’Oreal’s decision follows an announcement by Unilever’s Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Unilever, that it could change the name of its “Fair and Lovely” range of skin products on Thursday. The brand has long come under fire for its promotional initiatives that imply success is sold with lighter skin. In 2017, it defended itself by saying that light and even skin tones are “the most sought-after beauty desire across Asia and parts of Africa and Latin America.” It removed before and after images from its packaging in 2019, but has bowed to pressure by announcing it’ll drop the phrase “Fair” from its popular skincare range.
Johnson & Johnson announced a week ago that it could no longer sell its skin-lightening products in Asia, the Middle East and India. It said some of its product names and claims “represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone,” and that this was “never” their intention.
The Black Lives Matter protests that have been sparked following the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota in May have observed dozens of brands make moves to cleanse themselves of any controversial product names and logos, with Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima among those culled.
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