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The meaning of beauty varies according to countries and cultures. While in Africa the darkest skin colour with stretched earlobes marks a woman beautiful, in Chinese culture a beautiful woman is the fairest one with small feet. Talking about India, white-skin has always been kept on the highest pedestal. From ancient times till now, the top-most sectors are ruled by the fairer ones. The thought is interjected in minds of people since childhood. A dark-skinned person, especially a girl is bullied and taunted throughout her life and is forced to seek remedies to get a fairer look. About now, rise in the power of speech has greatly grouped the youth to create a revolution against this generalized thought. From anti-racial protests to slogans like “Everyone is Beautiful”, has definitely encouraged some to give a thought upon it. Other than that, it’s a long way to go until a transformed mindset is witnessed.
It is no surprise that demands increase production; this is why brands began selling fairness creams and products to lure customers into getting that fair and younger looking skin, Hindustan Unilever Limited’s “Fair & Lovely” cream being the most renowned example. Seems like the ongoing protests hit them hard, thus and so they decided to eliminate the term “fair” from their brand name. The news came after Hindustan Unilever applied for the mark “Glow & Lovely” before the General of Patent Design and Trademark on June 17, 2020.
Indian subsidiary of the British-Dutch multinational company Unilever PLC is known for vast sales of FMCG products throughout Asia. HUL’s “Fair & Lovely” attracts numerous markets majorly in Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, with a promising turnover of over 3000 crores. Many might think, this is an impact of anti-racist protest in the US, but Chairman Sanjiv Mehta says, rebranding was “purely coincidental.”
The present application filed for registration of “Glow & Lovely” states the mark is intended to be used for goods including soaps, oils, creams, lotions, beauty masks, facial packs, skin care preparations, shaving preparations, pre-shave and after-shave preparations, cologne, etc. As of now, the application is forwarded for ‘Vienna Codification’ and after further assessment and inspection formalities a check of distinctiveness shall be done.
Post mentioning about a prior application before the concerned Registry for the same mark in 2018, a HUL spokesperson said, “Some of them have received registration, while some applications are pending. We may choose to register other brand names too. We want to manage the unveiling of the new brand name carefully because we want to make sure that the market isn’t filled with counterfeit products that are unsafe. We will not be able to confirm what the new name will be.”
While talking about curbing out the generalized beauty norms and adopting a holistic vision of beauty, Chairman Mehta said, “We always believe in social justice as an organization. But this is something which we have been planning and we have done a huge amount of research on. These are not changes that you do immediately.”