This year marks the 100th anniversary of Band-Aid. One of the fascinating features is always the flesh-colored finish of the product. But who’s skin color?
Just this year, manufacturers Johnson & Johnson decided to expand the color of the product, similar to the line released over a decade ago, and then scrapped it.
This is just one example of an exercise involving another manufacturer of first aid products that prioritizes racial sensitivity.
The six fathers, Toby Meisenheimer, are co-founders of Tru-Colour Bandages. He created a medical grade brand to suit different skin tones, a need he discovered while caring for his adopted son.
“Our acrobatic 3-year-old Kai came to me crying with a scratch on his forehead,” Meisenheimer said. “And I went into the cabinet, grabbed the bandage and put it on his forehead.”
“And for the first time, it was like the scales fell out of my eyes,” Meisenheimer said. “38 years of life. And why didn’t I ever notice this?”
In 2013, he looked for an alternative. About a year later, he met Dr. Raymond Urapa, an orthopedist who designed a more functional bandage for knuckles and fingers inspired by his son Christian. So a team of fathers-with two other members-was created and the Tru-Colour Bandages was born.
“I think that’s great. By combining our efforts, we can achieve more together and get a product that we think will send the right message, especially in these times.” Wurapa told CBS This Morning: Michelle Miller on Saturday. “Bandages help with physical healing, but they also have emotional and physiological aspects to do. Just make sure you know who you are and there are options. There is. “
The message was received by Dominique Apollon, more than 2,000 miles away.
“For the first time in my life, I know what it’s like to apply a bandage to my skin tone,” Apollo said. “I can hardly find it in the first image. In fact, I’m holding back my tears.”
He tweeted that feeling and was well received by hundreds of thousands of people around the world, including “Star Wars” actor John Boyega. It started a conversation about race.
“I was shocked because I didn’t expect a reaction,” Apollo told Miller. “It was really breathtaking, and as you know, I was stupid for the reaction-“
“You still have it,” Miller said. “I see it in your eyes.”
“Yes, there are still some areas that feel ridiculous,” Apollo said. “Once again, there are much more important struggles like police atrocities like employment discrimination. For me, this was just part of the broader story of racial exclusion. It was just a small symbol. “
Even today, products advertised as nude are not nude for everyone. From high heels to underwear, and from athletic tape to crayons.
“We start our lives with coloring book images,” Miller told Mimi Dixon, who manages the equality and revitalization of the Crayola brand. “I remember when I was little, I didn’t have the colors I could express or return to.”
“Same thing, exactly the same thing,” Dixon said. “When I saw the drawings and portraits, I felt it wasn’t me, and I just felt it wasn’t perfect. I didn’t feel it was included.”
“And I didn’t feel it was me.”
Dixon launched “Colors of the World” this summer. This is a crayon pack that specializes in almost all skin tones.
“It was important for us to do it the right way,” Dixon said.
“Isn’t it just changing the color of the nude spectrum?” Miller asked.
“Not so,” Dixon said. “We want a true color that represents skin color, right? So we are Crayola and we know color. We don’t necessarily know skin color.”
They brought in make-up pro Victor Casale. Former Chief Chemist of MAC Cosmetics co-founded his own beauty line.
“This will change things. People can equate themselves in a box of 24 crayons,” said Casale.
“Okay, wait. How can I find my color?” Miller asked.
“The box has a panel that you can stand on your wrist,” Dixon said. “You have four colors in your hand. So now you just start coloring. You just make a small swatch.”
The expansion of Crayola’s skin tones options began in 1992, but this new pack is the first to sell them as a source of inclusions.
“Why did you choose to sell’Colors of the World’separately?” Miller asked. “Not in the traditional 32 or 16 packs.”
“This is a skin-colored crayon, so I wanted to make sure it was clear again,” Dixon said.
“So, 20 years from now, that might be the case,” Miller said.
“It could be a bigger pack, definitely,” Dixon said. “It’s not just a crayon, it’s about being included, seen, and cherished,” Dixon said.
“How do you think this will affect your bottom line?” Miller asked.
“It wasn’t necessarily about revenue,” Dixon said.
But for any business, money is important. The impact of expanding the scope of the comprehensive product line can be beneficial, according to Cheryl Grace, senior vice president of Nielsen Holdings, which tracks African American and multicultural consumer trends.
“They see African-American money green, and it’s a lot,” Grace said. “Currently African Americans have $ 1.4 trillion in purchasing power, about the same as Mexico and Spain, and $ 1.8 trillion, which is expected to spend in just three and a half years, is greater than today’s purchasing power and GDP. It has become. Russian, Canadian. “
“And most of US growth actually comes from multicultural consumers,” Grace continued. “And the fact that 10% of blacks, 10% of Hispanics, and 20% of Asian Americans are married outside of race shows that it will only continue. I can’t afford to spend so much money on the table. “
And when brands try to connect with the current social situation, consumers ultimately decide whether the company’s intent must match the products they sell.
“When we really want to achieve change in the world, it is often done at the individual level,” Meisenheimer said. “It’s done in the context of relationships. Despite our differences in skin color, despite our differences, Dr. W and I are working on a project together. Diversity and healing are the beauty of that diversity. “