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In a bid to show solidarity with the ongoing protests around the world against racism and stereotypes targeting the dark skin tone, an Indian matrimony website, Shaadi.com has decided to remove a search filter labelled 'fairness' that allowed people to demand for specific skin tones.
After years of promoting racism, the website has finally decided to denounce the deep-rooted societal obsession with fairer skin tones.
The decision comes amid massive protests erupted across the world, starting from the US, after an unarmed African American man was brutally murdered by an American police cop.
Shaadi.com removed the option which allowed users to search for partners on the basis of their skin tone after a US-based woman, named Hetal Lakhani started an online petition against it, BBC reported.
"The obsession with fair skin is still notorious within South Asian communities," Hetal Lakhani wrote in her online petition, which has received over 1,600 signatures.
"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," she wrote. "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," she added.
The matrimonial website said that it was a "product debris we missed removing" and that the filter "was not serving any purpose".
As the protests against racism grow louder across the world, many Bollywood celebrities have been called out for endorsing fairness creams. Recently, Bollywood actors like Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor and Disha Patani came under massive criticism for coming out in support of the Black Lives Matter protests in the US. and remaining mum about endorsing fairness and brightening creams.
Other companies like Johnson & Johnson also decided to stop selling its line of skin-whitening products in India. Promising a more inclusive and diverse portrayal of beauty, the Indian unit of Unilever on Thursday said that it will stop using the word "fair" in its "Fair & Lovely" range of products.
The debate around equating beauty with skin tone across the world is very old and has come under the spotlight once again as anti-racism protests erupted in the US recently. The movements have now compelled brands and companies to develop a conscience about how they actively contribute to beauty standards and equate them with fairness.
Even though many brands have now decided to do away with the idea of 'beauty' and 'fair skin', it won't change the damage it has caused for years.
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