Yahoo! don’t want my business

Impressed by the avatar on Mezba’s blog of a traditionally dressed Bangladeshi boy, I decided to log on to avatars.yahoo.com myself in the hopes of creating a digital semblance of myself.

The site offers diverse options designed to allow for varied individual appearances. It also does its part (albeit in a limited capacity) to cater to the culturally and linguistically diverse population of the world. There are a number of varying skin tones, eye shapes, hair styles, textures and colours, and they even have Saris and Kimonos for selection (in case you’re Indian or Japanese, or just like to wear those things).

I started off with hair. They didn’t have layered medium length hair in black with a medium length fringe that pushes to the side so I selected the closest option, long layered hair style, in black.

Went on to select face/eyes. Picked the ones that most closely matched mine, OK so they look more latino than Pakistani, but never mind! At least they were dark brown and eyelined like mine normally are.

The lips were more square than mine are but at least they were pouty and full (mine are full, I can make them pouty *wink wink nudge nudge*). There was no option to customise the lips separately, they came as a set of lips/eyes combo.

I then picked from the five available skin tones, one closest to mine (well it is a free website!).

Onto the most important part: Clothing.

I was impressed by the range of fully covered, yet stylish clothing they offered. I picked and chose from the long denim button down shirt with jeans, the turtle neck with low cut jeans, the turtle neck with long black pants, the turtle neck with calf length black skirt and dark brown suede boots (very swish), and even the off the shoulder black top with the black skirt. This last option doesn’t actually show a lot of skin since my yahoo picked long black layered hair were covering the shoulders.

And now for the final touch: Headscarf/Hijab (I’d settle for bandanna style).

Once I’d decided on my outfit, I navigated to Extras and then Accessories. Options here were categorised into Hats, Bags, Jewelery, Eyewear and Scarves. Imagine my excitement when I saw the Scarves link! I quickly browsed Hats (because headscarf might come under head wear) and found that none of the 6 pages offered headscarves, hijabs or bandannas as options.

No matter, I then clicked on the Scarves link, sure to find a head of hair covered with a piece of cloth. Imagine my disappointment when I was directed to a single page of long woolen neck scarves! Boo hoo 😦

I browsed the Fantasy category (just in case) along with Issues & Causes and the rest of the Accessories categories with no luck.

So my avatar’s standing there, in a background of my choosing (I’m allowed to be really domesticated and select the “starting a family” range of backgrounds, options include a pregnant lady, a lady surrounded by kids, a lady in the kitchen or a warm living room) without a headscarf! This is preposterous!

So ladies and gentlemen, I cannot post my poorly mimicked yahoo avatar on this blog (assuming WordPress allow for such things) because Yahoo have decided that the half a billion muslimahs around the world would not like to utilise their services.

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5 thoughts on “Yahoo! don’t want my business

  1. Asalamu alaykum,

    When I was ordering new checks from my bank online, I noticed that there were all these religious symbol ones with an assortment of crosses and stars of david but of course no Muslim symbols at all.

    I wrote to the bank asking why and they came back with some wishy-washy response like “we don’t make the package of symbols” so I wrote to the company that made the symbols but they never replied.

  2. As salamu alaikum,

    I totally agree with you. I personally wrote to yahoo avatars and I got a reply.

    This is what they wrote:

    Hello Jameela,

    Thank you for writing to Yahoo! Avatars.

    We will delighted to know that you are interested in our products.

    We appreciate your suggestions and comments regarding Yahoo! Avatars.
    It is through users’ feedback that we are able to continue to make
    improvements.

    We are planning to bring out several accessories for our Muslim users
    like Quran, Hijab etc. and belive us we respect each and every religion
    and we care of it and planning to add with additional hairstyles,
    clothing, accessories and even new faces as we continue to develop
    Yahoo! Avatars, and your suggestion will be added to the “want” list.

    We value all our customers. It is sincere people like you who make our
    company successful. We appreciate you contacting us.

    Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Customer Care.

    Regards,

    Maggie

    Yahoo! Customer Care

    That was sent to me on October 2, 2006. I have yet to see any hijabs. It sucks because I can tell its a deliberate omission. In the meantime They have a grim reaper hood of all things astaghfirullah, but it looks kinda like a hijab so i put it on my avatar with the blue kimono outfit. It looks eh, but its ok. It’s kinda sad what theyre doing cause i even volunteered to draw hijabs for them. Also if you look in the plus sized sections all they have is a tiny fraction of outfits, they should at least make all the outfits to fit all body types. And the plus sized outfits look like crap. I’m so disgusted by that as well. Anyways if u really want to have an hijab on ur avatar just use the grim reaper hood with a neck scarf and it at least covers :D.

    Love and Peace,
    Jameela Al Amin

  3. Jameela, first thing I’m going to say to you is, Salam and Welcome.

    Second, you use your full name on line? You go!

    Third: What’s up with the grammatical errors in that response? (from yahoo)

    Your work btw is beautiful mashallah. Do you use digital cameras?

    Lets face it, as much as all of this is an online representation, doesn’t omission by default imply many other things? I’m glad you found me πŸ™‚

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