india wedding
For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pixabay

Popular India-based matrimonial website,, removed the option for users to filter out results by skin tone, after receiving backlash and it is a step in the battle against South Asia's obsession with fair skin.

It was a woman's online petition that made the website remove the option for users to state their skin tone preferences.

According to BBC, the online petition was kickstarted by Hetal Lakhani who lives in Dallas, US along with Meghan Nagpal, who was searching for a partner on the site.

Nagpal discussed the complexion filter on a Facebook group, where Hetal is also a member.

"When Meghan shared this on our group I was really shocked because a company usually has a social responsibility," Hetal was quoted as saying.

"I wanted to tackle this in a way that could make a difference so I started a petition. And it just took off like wildfire. Within 14 hours we had over 1,500 signatures. People were so glad we were raising the issue," she added. said that the filter "was not serving any purpose" and was a "product debris we missed removing". But when users joined the website, they were asked to mention the shade of their skin tone. People looking for a relationship also had the option to search potential partners based on this. removed the filter overnight.

Nagpal told BBC that when she contacted about the filter, a representative told her "this is a filter required by most parents".

"When Nagpal shared this on our group, I was really shocked because a company usually has a social responsibility," Lakhani was quoted as saying.

The Director of Marketing at was quoted as saying to the BBC: "We truly believe that love comes in all shapes and shades. And we are proud to represent a cross-section of India - that's something very few companies in India can boast about."

"It's just one small step in an ultimate goal of promoting equality within the south Asian community on a global level," Nagpal was quoted as saying.

Talking about the beauty standards that exist in India, Lakhani said: "I have my bachelors, I have my masters. But if a skin tone can take that away from me - that would be the worst. People have their biases. But a company should not inculcate that culture."

Lakhani also criticised Bollywood celebrities for having double standards as they endorse fairness creams while supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

As per the current social climate, impacted by the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in the US, social media users discussed the issue online.

Tweep @mayhempsingh shared some of the changes companies have recently made: “Black Lives Matter effect: removes colour filter, Johnson and Johnson to stop selling skin whitening creams, Unilever to remove references to ‘fairness’ and ‘whitening’.”

Tweep @SherlynDudeja appreciated the move: “The skin colour filter on a matrimonial website shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but it’s good to know that finally realised the racism it has been promoting all these years! Good move @ShaadiDotCom.”