In a recent series of changes and evolution around various sectors of the beauty industry in response to the Black Lives Matter protests, French cosmetics conglomerate beauty brand L’Oreal will not use the words ‘whitening’ ‘light-toned’ or ‘fair’ for its products.
The company proclaimed in an official statement that it ‘has decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin-evening products.’ Previously, activists for anti-racism has promoted for changes in the beauty industries’ promotion of ‘the fair skin’, which is ultimately pointed to the fact that the company purportedly promotes beauty standards to have whiter skin. The French company is only just one in a flow of changes within the industry, following Hindustan Unilever and Johnson&Johnson, both of which has stopped promoting ‘fairer’ skin from their promotional beauty.
The motivation for the change started in the month previous, when L’Oreal joined rank with other corporations to stand with the spirits and values of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd.
L’Oreal tweeted that that it ‘stands in solidarity with the Black community and against injustice of any kind’ and said ‘speaking out is worth it.’ This initially drew controversy from social media users, who have for sometime blasted the sheer misinformed racist views the company tended to promote through its products and promotional videos.
One of the earliest whistle-blowers to the hypocrisy promoted by the company was Munroe Bergdorf.
Transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf responded to L’Oreal’s post on her Instagram page: ‘Excuse my language but I am SO angry. F*** you. You dropped me from a campaign in 2017 and threw me to the wolves for speaking out about racism and white supremacy.’
In 2017, Bergdorf was introduced by L’Oreal as the ‘face of modern diversity’.However, the model had made the comments blasting the industry’s racist and anti-LGBT prevalence, in which at once L’Oreal responded, saying that the model’s commitments are ‘at odds’ with their values.
However L’Oreal Brand President Delphine Viguier ‘reached out’ to her.Bergdorf said the pair had shared an ‘open and constructive’ conversation while Viguier expressed ‘regret’ that the model had felt previously ‘silenced’ by her company.
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