Aap is one of India’s most respected beauty brands, and the brand has come under fire in recent months for using the word ‘feminine’ in a slogan and advertising.
It’s also a company that, in a 2015 report by The Financial Times, accused India’s Prime Minister of trying to ‘stifle innovation’.
However, in the wake of the FT report, the brand had issued a statement saying it is ‘confident in the power of our mission and the vision of Aap’.
‘We’re very proud of our product range,’ Aap spokesperson Suman Thakur said in a statement, adding that the brand was not trying to censor women.
‘We want to create a positive image of the brand.
We do not wish to censor anyone.’
The spokesperson also claimed that Aap had not been forced to use the word, which has been the subject of many controversies across the world.
‘The brand is not trying any political slogans or political agenda, nor is it targeting any gender.
It is simply trying to capture our consumer’s imagination and our love for beauty,’ Thakum said.
‘Our mission is to make the world a better place, and our products are aimed at that.’
The brand has also faced backlash on social media.
Many people took issue with the word Aap.
The brand responded to the backlash with a statement on Facebook that claimed the word was not meant to be used.
‘In a nutshell, Aap means ‘beautiful woman’, and we do not mean to suggest that our products can be classified as a woman-centric brand.
Our products are designed to be made for women.’
We are committed to creating a healthy environment for women and girls, and we have always done everything to ensure our products and our team are free from any political message,’ the statement continued.
‘At the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that some of our products have been perceived as sexist, and have also caused a few hurt feelings amongst some sections of society.’
The statement also clarified that AAP was not attempting to silence women or people of colour, or any gender in general.
‘As a brand, we strive to be inclusive of all people.
We understand the challenges that come with this mission and that we have to be constantly working to improve our brand,’ the spokesperson said.