Remove the colour filter from Matrimonial Website

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The obsession with fair skin is still notorious within South Asian communities. The notion that fair skin makes a better bride/husband is still of significance. Whilst completely ignoring the personality, experience of life and the ability to make a good partner and son/daughter in law. 

Shaadi.com has a colour filter that asks users to indicate the colour of their skin using descriptors like “Fair”, “Wheatish”, and “Dark” and allows users the ability to search for potential partners on the basis of their skin colour.

We demand that Shaadi.com must permanently remove its skin colour filter to prevent users from selectively searching for matches based on their preferred skin colour.

Now is the time to re-evaluate what we consider beautiful. Colorism has significant consequences in our community, especially for women. People with darker skin experience greater prejudice, violence, bullying, social sanctions, and all kinds of skin-lightening treatments are recommended to them under the guise of “making them desirable” or “making them more beautiful”.

This kind of constant discrimination affects our self-esteem and mental health, with consequences as extreme as social exclusion and physical harm. Colour is only skin deep. The idea that fairer skin is “good” and darker skin is “bad” is completely irrational. Not only is it untrue, but it is an entirely socially constructed perception based in neo-colonialism and casteism, which has no place in the 21st century.

Shaadi.com removing its colour filter doesn’t change the reality that people will continue to anchor desirability and suitability onto people’s skin colour. But it will stop giving users the option to discriminate on the basis of something so shallow and arbitrary.

Below are resources to explore for more information:

1.    Facing India’s Legacy of Colourism: https://www.mironline.ca/facing-indias-legacy-of-colourism/

2.    Un-Fair And Not So Lovely: Capitalism And Colourism In India: https://feminisminindia.com/2018/08/28/capitalism-colourism-india/

3.    India’s Color Complex: One Day’s Worth of Matrimonials: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/295539975_India's_Color_Complex_One_Day's_Worth_of_Matrimonials

 



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