Despite all the potential for positive societal changes through the Black Lives Matter movement, there are instances where some people think it’s gone too far – such as the news recently that Uncle Ben’s rice is undergoing a makeover or one politician’s assertion that Coco Pops are racist.
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Another move that’s bound to split opinion is the news that L’Oreal is to remove words like ‘whitening’, ‘lightening’ and ‘fairness’ from all their skin care products as a way to fight racism.
The French cosmetics giant confirmed in a statement (via Sky News):
The L’Oreal Group has decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products
The decision comes after L’Oreal said earlier this month that it “stands in solidarity with the Black community and against injustice of any kind”.
That original statement was met with backlash from critics, who claimed the company’s business model and advertising is focused on white consumers. In response, L’Oreal got to work removing the aforementioned terms from their skin care products so as to be more inclusive to non-white customers.
Here’s some of the reaction online:
It’s no longer promoting whiteness as the ideal.
— Diana #VoteByMail 📨 #BlackLivesMatter ✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 (@Diana_Hunte) June 27, 2020
Does that mean we can’t have black pudding anymore ???
— Andy Robo (@ajrbanner) June 27, 2020
Lighten up? How very dare you lol
— Leelad (@Leelad123) June 27, 2020
Congratulations L’Oreal — you just solved racism.
— Brilant Krasniqi (@brilantbk) June 27, 2020
I think this whole thing is absolutely stupid but “lightening” seems like the obvious solution. We don’t call tanning products blackening.
— Al (@burkewhy) June 27, 2020
Including ‘fair’ and ‘light’ I’m mixed raced, I am fair or light skinned. There is nothing fucking offensive about it this is a joke. I will continue to call myself fair or light skinned until I die because that’s exactly what I am.
— CoronavirusNHSstaff (@NHSSTAFFCOVID19) June 27, 2020
Honestly I looked for more Tweets that were in favour of removing the words to balance it out a bit but it seems 99% of people are not happy about this. I guess I can understand why “whitening” would be removed since we don’t refer to tanning products as “blackening”, but what’s wrong with “lightening” or “fairness”? You’d think they were the perfect, non-offensive substitute words for “whitening”. At the end of the day there are plenty of products that lighten your skin and darken your skin depending on your preference. It’s not as though one is presented as more of an ideal than the other, is it?
Anyway, we’ll have to see what L’Oreal’s rebranding of these products looks like when they get around to it. To watch a brilliant anti-racism experiment from Lithuania, click HERE.