Leave aside caste and religion, colour discrimination is one of the most dysfunctional issues prevailing in our society and it’s high time we do away with it.
Recently, a matrimonial website, Shaadi.com, faced backlash from its users for having a skin tone filter for matchmaking. They were apparently asked to select how dark or light their skin is, under this option.
A user, Hetal Lakhani from Dallas, USA, started an online petition against the option, following which the website has removed that particular filter, according to a report by BBC.
While the users questioned the filter for promoting colourism, Shaadi.com has reportedly said that the filter was not serving any purpose and was a product debris they missed removing. The website also claimed that the filter wasn’t working and users would see results of all skin tones.
In a statement issued by the website, a spokesperson, said:
We do not ask any of our members to share their skin colour and hence there is no form of discrimination on the basis of that either. It has been many years since we’ve taken this stand. The filter that was visible on the website, was something we missed removing and it had absolutely no place or purpose on the platform. We were more than happy to get rid of it.
Another user Meghan Nagpal, was using the website for finding a potential Indian-origin partner. When she saw the complexion filter, she discussed it on a Facebook group and this soon turned into a campaign.
Speaking to BBC, Meghan, said:
I emailed them (shaadi.com) and one representative said this is a filter required by most parents.
The matrimonial website is being criticised on social media for promoting racism and netizens are calling this move, a step towards equality.
“A small step towards promoting equality”https://t.co/lEe41CS4iF, the Asian matrimonial website, has finally removed its skin tone filter following pressure from users— Darshna Soni (@darshnasoni) June 23, 2020
Users were asked to select how dark or light their skin is under the skin tone option https://t.co/RfAMQgEkHD
Shaadi.com: Remove the colour filter from Matrimonial Website – Sign the Petition! https://t.co/LFg1LeqJ6K via @ChangeOrg_India— Mudase Suraj (@SMudase) June 24, 2020
It’s just one small step in an ultimate goal of promoting equality within the south Asian community on a global level.
One just has to look at our matrimonial ads to get an idea of our regressive mindset. These ads encapsulate colorism, casteism, classism among other things…— Priya Prakash (@praxpriya) June 24, 2020
We south Asians have a serious colonial overhang about why we consider “fair” a status symbol. Been there!https://t.co/W6FtGcYDz1: Dating site removes skin tone filter after backlash https://t.co/xhWN6U7Dyq— Maithreyi (@maithreyi_s) June 23, 2020
I just hope all those who signed the petition, actually stand by it. Either way, it is high time to get rid of complexion shit. @hetallakh#shaadifilterhttps://t.co/g0wkMbjt7W: Dating site removes skin tone filter after backlash https://t.co/yP5srIhzAA— Mohita (@itsmohitahere) June 24, 2020
So until very recently you could filter potentials based on the colour of their skin on Shaadi,com? Ugly. Really goes to show how deep colourism roots itself in our subconscious. https://t.co/oZowJOBb1J— Uneesa (@alluneesaknow) June 23, 2020
Our obsession with a particular skin tone is not new. It has been ingrained into our minds over all these years. Time and again, the issue has been raised by some people and the debate recently reignited after George Floyd’s death in the US.
It’s good to see brands re-examining their policies that promote colour discrimination in any way.