How Indians Link Skin Tone to Caste & Big Companies Profit From It

Hindustan Unilever recently decided to remove the word ‘fair’ from its beauty cream Fair & Lovely.

Published27 Jun 2020, 04:20 PM IST
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1 min read

Seems like the 'fair & lovely' days are over after the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement in the United States and the rest of the world.

Hindustan Unilever had decided to remove the word 'Fair' from its beauty cream Fair & Lovely. This brings us to a more important question: Why does fairness appeal to so many people?

The fairness cream market in India is worth Rs 5,000 crore, and as per a study, HUL’s Fair & lovely alone has a 70 percent market share.

In fact the study adds that in India, people's voting preferences are also influenced by skin colour. It has been observed that many people prefer candidates with lighter complexions.

How People Link Skin Tone to Caste

In India, the upper castes are assumed to have Aryan genes and have lighter skin by many. This deepens the division among castes and propagates evils like untouchability.

Several multinational corporations take advantage of this divide, thereby deepening casteism in the country.

Fair & Lovely was launched in 1975 to attract consumers in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and has intermittently faced backlash from activists.

The discrimination based on colour in India has, however, been an age-old problem.

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