“This was one of the first things that made me aware of ‘race’ when I was a kid”

we often forget certain things are harder for some over others. We overlook the things that don’t affect us, and it’s pretty normal, but it’s not necessarily ok.

45 year old Dominique Apollon has “taken 45 trips around the sun” before discovering an everyday product that was specifically designed “with someone who looks like [him] in mind.”

The sincere and emotional response comes as he expresses what would typically be unremarkable to many – finding band-aids made for his skin tone.

The vice president of research at Race Forward, an NPO which builds awareness for racial issues was looking to spend the remainder of his Flexible Spending Account and came across these bandages which were available in a mix of skin ones.

“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 went on to say that he wasn’t initially ‘overly eager’ to try these ‘specialty’ bandages and that the box laid about at home for roughly 5 months before he cut his right pinkie finger on a Friday and desperately needed one.

It was only then that the effect caught him by surprise.

“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.”

Apollon went on to joke that he’s not “like some person who sits around just admiring his skin or features” all day, but he was “struck” by how emotional of an experience it all was.

“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.'”

He noted that the lighter color of the typical store bought band-aids could be due to their visibility which is a valid medical reason, “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 further shared the moment on Twitter, writing that he was ‘holding back the tears’ that such a mundane experience could mean so much to him – that tweet has been retweeted over 94,000 times since.

Some responded with comments that made even me tear up about how when putting bandages on were some of the first moments they were made aware of race as children.

Some mentioned the confusion they had as parents or children themselves when Crayola had ‘flesh’ colored crayons and Band-Aids came in lighter ‘skin’ tones, which always confused them as it didn’t always ‘match’ what they considered their natural skin tones or complexions.

“I remember being upset that nothing really worked,” one user wrote.

Some were also quite unable to relate to the struggle until being made aware saying they had “never once given a thought about.”

“I can’t begin to tell you how amazing that is. Yet so simple and going why in the hell did it take this long to do something so simple that means so much to people?” another said.

Some teachers went on to say that they had since decided to stock some in their classrooms.

“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,” one wrote.

Some weren’t so understanding making comments about how the color of the bandage ‘doesn’t matter’ – but Apollon responded that the lack of availability previously 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 mentioned, pointing out all the other ‘flesh-colored’ products out there like crayons, bras, panties, even ballet shoes – all things other Twitter users mentioned as well.

“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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My Name is Kasim Khan and I am the founder of Educate Inspire Change. I have just returned from a 1 week stay at the world’s first medically licensed plant medicine retreat, it’s called Rythmia and is in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. During this week I had the most profound and transformational experience of my life and it’s not only me . . .over 95% of people who embark on this journey at Rythmia reports that they too had a life changing miracle. This magical place had such a profound effect on me that I am now dedicating my time to sharing this healing opportunity of a lifetime with you all.

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