Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1756-4921
  • E-ISSN: 1756-493X


A preference for light skinned females is a global bias that affects all areas of human relationships, especially in marital mate selection. Further intensified by the meteoric rise in Internet dating and mate selection, this bias often serves an invalidating function for darker-skinned women. This study (1) analyzed profiles and preferences of brides and grooms (N=200), and (2) coded success story wedding photos (N=200) posted on four Indian matrimonial websites. Results showed an overwhelming bias among males for brides lighter-skinned than themselves. Males were also more likely than females to state a preference for skin color in their prospective brides, and to use qualitative words like beautiful and lovely to describe their preferred match. Most significantly, the success story wedding photos consistently had lighter-skinned brides than grooms. Dark-skinned women were almost non-existent in these success stories. This research points to a technology-abetted intensification of colorism. That is to say that the powerful profile menu options and the visual imagery of predominantly light-skinned, successful brides illustrated on current websites visually reinforce the invalidation of dark skinned women.


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