The latest manifestation of the collective soul searching induced by the Black Lives Matter movement, which has revealed the Western world to be built on
and all whites to be racists, is the move from cosmetics firms to reassess their product lines and marketing strategies.
So, we hear from the BBC News website in a report by Lora Jones [https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53178088] that Unilever is to rename its ‘Fair & Lovely’ skin cream after criticism that it promoted ‘negative stereotypes around dark skin tones’.
Thousands have signed petitions highlighting the ‘internalised racism’ and ‘anti-blackness sentiments’ which such products convey. In response, Unilever acknowledged that its branding suggested ‘a singular ideal of beauty’.
All references to ‘whitening’ or ‘lightening’ on its products will henceforth be removed. But for some, this did not go far enough. For ‘writer and activist’ Poorna Bell, a mere re-branding exercise would be insufficient ‘to make reparations for the untold mental and emotional damage done by colourism’.
But wait a minute. Don’t sun lotions and tanning products boast that they will produce a bronzed skin, a glowing golden tan? One lotion, I see, promises to ‘prolong your sun-kissed glow’; another to ‘deliver an instant golden tan’ that can be washed off. What of the negative stereotype thereby conveyed of those of us who have naturally pale skins, whose skins do not tan easily in the sun? What of the mental and emotional damage done to us?
Don’t suntan lotions unquestionably promote ‘a singular ideal of beauty’? Don’t they promote ‘anti-whiteness’ sentiments? Aren’t they ‘intrinsically racist’? All references to tanning, bronzing, golden glows etc should henceforth be removed from sun lotions. Let the campaign commence.
Alternatively, I shall seek reparations from the dark-skinned boy at school who once described me as a ‘paleface’ – and use the proceeds to undergo a perma-tan spray job.