After years and years of discrimination on the basis of colour, there was some good news in the last week. First, Hindustan Unilever rebranded its image, announcing that it will drop the word 'Fair' from its brand 'Fair & Lovely.'
And second, matrimonial website Shaadi.com, faced criticism for having a 'skin tone filter' for matchmaking. Following that, the website removed the said filters .
But who were the people who made the matrimonial website finally remove the filters?
It all started when a Toronto based Shaadi.com user, Meghan Nagpal opened her profile on the website so she could find a prospective partner.
However, while trying to find a partner, one of the options she stumbled upon was 'the skin tone option' where she had to select how dark or light her skin is.
This appalled her. So, to talk about this particular feature, Meghan emailed the website to remove it. However, she got a shocking reply from the website representative saying that the filter is required by most parents.
Meghan shared this all over her social media accounts. There, this issue caught the attention of Hetal Lakhani from Dallas, USA. She started an online petition against the option. This petition spread like wildfire and within 14 hours, it got over 1,500 signatures. She told CNN,
The only way you can do it is if you have signatures on a piece of paper and you can see here, so many people want you to make a change, so please make a change.
Both Meghan and Hetal shared tweets about this petition and eventually, it caught attention of influential blogger Roshni Patel who shared it with her 80,000 followers. She dissed the company for this disappointing feature and finally got a reply from the company.
After this interaction, finally, Shaadi.com officially posted that it has removed the said option and referred to it as a 'blindspot'.
While the removal of this filter was a combined effort of everyone signing the petition, it was successful because of these three women who have never met but whose combined outrage and action led to the change.