Monday, July 10, 2006

Crayolas to Band-aids to Sephora

I hear a lot of people say that race isn't an issue these days. My question is, "Race isn't an issue to who??" Most likely I would guess that race isn't an issue to White people. Why?? Because everything in our society is catered to us! This fact becomes apparent to me every once in a while. It hit me this last weekend when I was clipping coupons out of the Sunday paper.

As I was looking through the coupons, I noticed an ad for Band-aids. There are now three colors of band-aids: light, medium, and deep. They are clear bandaids (so that everyone's own skintone can come through), but the patch in the middle now has a variety of shades. I commend Band-Aid for doing this...even though it is the year 2006!! The slogan on the ad is, "After all, you should be the one being noticed not your bandage." It seems like that was the slogan several years ago as well. It's about time someone started realizing that the light tan color only caters to one segment of society.

The band-aid ad made me think about crayons. Did you know that up until 1962, Crayola had a crayon called "flesh." Whose "flesh" color? See the approximate color below (the Crayola crayon was actually quite a bit lighter than this):

It has since changed the name of the color to be called "peach."

It seems like these days we would be a little more aware and that the companies would have already changed their products to reflect the diversity our world offers. Unfortunately, that isn't so. As I was looking up "flesh colored crayon" in hopes of finding the old crayon to display on this blog, I was rather shocked to find that several companies still recognize that light peach color as "flesh."

The squiggle above is Sephora's make-up line. That color is called "flesh." The light, pinkish-colored material to the right is also called "flesh."

In this bathing suit ad, the caption below it read: resort ready liquid gold, flesh color, to white push-up bra bikini and one-piece

What about everyone else's "flesh color" in that picture?

I'm glad Crayola made their change. I'm glad that Band-Aid (45 years later) made their change. I would guess some people will probably tell me how ridiculous and miniscule this is in the big scheme of things. From observing kids of various shades of brown for the past several years and from doing research for my degree with Hispanic and African-American people, I would argue that these subtle differences do affect people--whether we would like to acknowledge it or not.
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