LONDON — Kinita Shenoy ignored the first package. But then a second one arrived at her home in Colombo, Sri Lanka.Inside were skin lightening creams made by Pond’s, the cosmetics brand owned by consumer product giant Unilever. As the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine’s Sri Lanka edition from 2017 to 2018, Shenoy was used to freebies. But the gift box, sent in December 2017, left her confused. She had told Unilever marketers weeks before that she would never promote skin lighteners.“I was really irked about it,” she told BuzzFeed News, “but I decided to ignore it.”Then Unilever staff started to text her, asking her to post about the products on social media. Irritated, Shenoy told her staff to post a story on her magazine’s Instagram account thanking Pond’s for the box. But on her personal Instagram, she posted a different message.“I appreciate the lovely packaging but I’m not really on board with the concept of ‘White Beauty,’” she wrote, blurring out Pond’s brand name. “Aren’t we past the point where we tell wonderful, melanin-popping Asian women they need to make their skin look whiter?”When Shenoy wrote her post, she had no idea Unilever representatives would unleash a pressure campaign on her… Read full this story
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