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Fairness- Why bother changing the narrative when you can shift it

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An oft-repeated saying is that ‘everything is fair in love and war.’ Many social practices operate from this premise simply because a selected few fulfill their vested interests by worshiping at the altar of inequity. They might as well be getting a kick out of depriving others of their right to live a life of dignity.

However, there does come a time when the oppressed no longer continues continues to bury its head in the sand (even if the powerful doesn’t have the slightest pangs of conscience). Unfortunately, racism is one such social evil that wasn’t nipped in the bud. Therefore, it continues to make its presence felt, despite waves of liberalization, industrialization, and globalization that have leveled the playing field by providing equitable access to resources, opportunities, and capacities across racial groups.

In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests in response to in- custody killing of a 46-year-old black American, many multinationals have announced that they would re-brand their skin lightening creams. In one such move, Unilever has decided to drop the word ‘fair’ from the name of its bestselling ‘Fair and Lovely’. Although this can be justified on account of the fact that consumers resonate with socially responsible brands, it is yet to be seen whether a simple makeover of a brand can actually carry the message of change it espouses.

On the flip side, a slightly deeper analysis of the situation can make Unilever and other players in the market look for a shift towards purpose-led brand building. In this direction, brands can work towards coming up with a formula that works for acid-attack survivors and burn victims. After all (if not more), they yearn at least as much as others, for a glowing skin.

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