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Indian Matrimonial Website Removes Skin Tone Filter Amid Raging Debate over Colourism

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

The website, shaadi.com, removed the skin tone filter after an online petition was filed by a US-based woman Hetal Lakhani.

Amid the raging debate over racism and promotion of skin whitening products, marriage website Shaadi.com, has removed a skin tone filter following pressure from users.

This came after Hetal Lakhani from Dallas, USA, started an online petition against the skin tone preference option, the BBC reported. However, the website said they removed the option as t was 'serving no option'.

The users were required to select their skin tone upon joining the website and could search for matches by the skin tone preferences, even though Shaadi.com maintains that the skin tone filter didn't work.

Last week, Johnson & Johnson decided to stop selling skin whitening creams popular in Asia and the Middle East after such products came under renewed social pressure in recent weeks amid global protests against racism.

Johnson & Johnson will stop selling its Clean & Clear Fairness line of products, sold in India, a spokeswoman was quoted as saying by the Reuters. News that it would pull its Neutrogena Fine Fairness line, available in Asia and the Middle East, was reported earlier this month.

"Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that some product names or claims on our dark spot reducer products represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone," Johnson & Johnson said. "This was never our intention – healthy skin is beautiful skin."

After African American George Floyd's killing, several Indian celebrities had posted on social media in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests, but were soon called out for hypocrisy. India, riddled by colourism, has been a huge market for skin whitening products with many top celebrities promoting them. Several Bollywood actors also took to social media to share their perspectives about the movement.