A 45-year-old man shared his experience of putting On A Bandage In His Skin Tone For The First Time.
Dominique Apollon told BuzzFeed News he’s “taken 45 trips around the sun” before discovering an everyday product that was specifically designed “with someone who looks like [him] in mind.”
Apollon is the vice president of research at Race Forward, a nonprofit that builds awareness for racial justice came across the bandages that came in a number of darker skin tones.
“As a black person, I’m not used to seeing products geared to me in national online retailers,” he said. “The default is typically some type of Caucasian skin tone.”
He said that he got a cut on his right pinkie finger on Friday and the box of bandages was in his home for about five months and now he got a chance to use one.
“I could hardly see it,” he said of the bandage on his skin. “It just blended so perfectly in a way that if I was walking into a room, no one would even notice it was there.”
It's taken me 45 trips around the sun, but for the first time in my life I know what it feels like to have a "band-aid" in my own skin tone. You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I'm holding back tears. pic.twitter.com/GZR7hRBkJf
— Dominique Apollon (@ApollonTweets) April 19, 2019
“I just started feeling sad that I’d spent my entire life, 45 years perhaps without ever having experienced that before. It’s impossible to say, but how might I have felt if I’d had that experience of care as a kid,” he said. “It’s a product that said to me, ‘We see you. you’re valued.'”
“But it’s nice to have a choice, and know that a company didn’t just default to the white experience,” he said. “It just signals that you’re a valued member of society.”
He shared his experience of applying the bandage on Twitter and his post was retweeted thousands of times.
One user wrote: “Thank you for this. I work in a school and because of your tweet, I just purchased a pack of TruColor bandages to have on hand. It’s a small thing that might make a big difference to a child”.
For some who didn’t understand, saying the color of the bandage “doesn’t matter,” Apollon responded that the previous lack of availability felt like “exclusion through a thousand cuts.”
“It’s a cumulative and compounding experience over time. And it fits a broader pattern of exclusion that is even more painful and damaging,” he said, pointing to other “flesh”-colored products like crayons, bras, panties, and ballet shoes that Twitter users have already called attention to.
“I’m not saying that the industry should be designing bandages with shades that match every skin tone in the human spectrum,” he added. “The point is in a just society, everyone should feel so valued, so embraced, and seen.”
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