Sometimes, it's the littlest things you don't think about that can have the biggest impact. That's what Dominique Apollon learned over the weekend.
Apollon is the VP of Research for Race Forward, a center for racial justice.
On Saturday, he tweeted about discovering what it was like to finally wear an adhesive bandage that matched his skin tone.
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-… https://t.co/ooVmTTgziL— Dominique Apollon (@Dominique Apollon)1555691278.0
Since the Band-Aid was first invented, it's been in a soft pink color. There have been other competitors in the market, such as Ebon-Aide, but they often found themselves side-lined by stores.
Those attempts weren't performed in a vacuum, however. Bandages are meant to cover a wound to keep germs out, and prevent more damage to the skin. By having the covering match your skin, you're less likely to think about it, leaving it alone to protect your wound.
The idea that a bandage could even be in your skin color surprised people online.
This felt like belonging. Like feeling valued. Sadness for my younger self and millions of kids of color, esp black… https://t.co/b9OzfWzrgK— Dominique Apollon (@Dominique Apollon)1555721199.0
@ApollonTweets There I am thinking I know all about my white privilege and embarrassed enough about it and this had… https://t.co/PiqQCE328r— Lee Gough (@Lee Gough)1555826544.0
@ApollonTweets Please tell me where to get these. I’ve looked everywhere to find a skin tone band aid for people of… https://t.co/BhMe8Nh0yt— Sharon Powell (@Sharon Powell)1555883075.0
@ApollonTweets I never even correlated band aids and skin tone. I can't believe I never did. It truly is the small… https://t.co/SGBLhhapyw— Emma Dawn Halling 🖋️ (@Emma Dawn Halling 🖋️)1555850156.0
@ApollonTweets Omg, I never gave band aid color a thought. After reading your reaction, it makes complete sense o… https://t.co/7ngZjh9iMM— F-Bomb Fembot (@F-Bomb Fembot)1555858784.0
In an interview with The Atlantic, Harry Webber, a marketing consultant for Johnson & Johnson in the 1960s, called the product's "flesh" color and non-issue.
"Johnson & Johnson's consideration was this was a mass market product, and as mass market product you look at what is the largest faction of that market and you create the product for that faction."
"So for non-whites, at that time being between 12 percent and 15 percent of the total population, there was no way anybody was considering making a Band-Aid Brand adhesive bandage to mask the color of skin that is the complete spectrum, from pink to ebony."
After the failure of Ebon-Aide, a bandage designed in various shades for people of color, one has to wonder if these kinds of coverings can make a comeback.
@ApollonTweets Wow it’s the small things that bring the greatest joy.— Tina Townsend (@Tina Townsend)1555814026.0
@ApollonTweets @thebrownasthtc This is beautiful— C a s s i e e. (@C a s s i e e.)1555818885.0
@ApollonTweets @congolaiiis https://t.co/285hjcEF4e— Vrealité😷 (@Vrealité😷)1555852198.0
@ApollonTweets Reading your thread brought me joy. I’m delighted that something so simple can mean so much to upli… https://t.co/rRqDDXHhsF— Cathy Grimes (@Cathy Grimes)1555876118.0
If you're interested, Apollon shared where and how he got his Tru-Colour bandages.
And I'm glad this thread has sparked some love, introspection, empathy, and conscious actions in others. White supr… https://t.co/6wIbOwzbA4— Dominique Apollon (@Dominique Apollon)1555745237.0
It's rather funny that something he bought without second thought had such a strong impact when he actually used it.