All’s Fair in Love and Cream: A Cultural Case Study of Fair & Lovely in India by Natasha Shevde
Fair & lovely and Poverty
Fair & lovely is popular brand mostly in small Villages. Through this reading, Shevde teaches us the process how HLL make Fair & Lovely the next big thing to happen in small villages. Even though skin whitning and products like Fair & lovely are in high demand in India, the process, in my opinion, is very manipulative.
Fair & Lovely claims their main mission is to empower women through confidence and help the users gain a better social position.
Once Hill target a village, the Fair & Lovely key team identifies the village and look for the person who is in charge or has a high social position. After the person with the high position in the village is identified, he points out a didi (sister) who also has a good social position within her society. She is then asked to wear Fair & Lovely and promote the cream to her friends and other housewives meaning essentially to attract a crowd with her new skin and promote the cream in the process to others. The reporting shows that this has significantly increased the sales of Fair & Lovely.
I think something this article doesn’t address is that rural areas are a great target for big companies like Fair & Lovely. The whole nation of India is already obsessed with being white but smaller village is an easier target. To make some assumptions, rural areas are likely to follow the tradition of the caste system. From my own experience, small villages and rural areas in India are very traditional where the people in the city are more modernized. The stigma of being dark and black associates heavily to untouchable and undesirable among people who are traditional.