A 45-year-old man has revealed his emotional response to wearing a band-aid that matches his skin tone for the very first time.
Dominique Apollon, from Oakland, California, took to Twitter on Friday, April 19. The researcher for racial justice shared two photos of his hand, on which he wore a bandage that blended almost perfectly with his skin tone.
Alongside the photographs, he wrote: ‘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.’
Dominique continued: ‘Not like I didn’t know these strips existed. But I definitely didn’t expect the complex emotions that would swirl as I watched it just … blend in.
‘A seemingly trivial exercise I’ve repeated 1000x on my body with “regular” ones since childhood. Self-administered #antiblackness,’ he added.
The 45-year-old said the band-aid was a symbol of belonging. He also said having the band-aid in the same shade as his skin tone made him feel like he was valued.
Dominique explained: ‘This felt like belonging. Like feeling valued. Sadness for my younger self and millions of kids of color, esp black kids.
‘Like a reminder of countless spaces where my skin is still not welcomed. Feared. Hated. Like, “Why am I really thinking all this ’bout an effing band-aid?”
The band-aid Dominique sported in the photos, he said, was from Tru-Color Bandages – a retailer that specializes in creating and selling band-aids for medium and dark-toned skin.
Dominique praised the product and the manufacturer, as he said it made him feel ‘valued’.
He explained: ‘Note: Bought these Tru-Colour bandages almost as an afterthought at the online FSA Store months ago, spending down health care $ my employer thankfully provides.
‘Dunno enough about manufacturer to fully vouch for them, but truly appreciate how valued their product made me feel.’
‘And I’m glad this thread has sparked some love, introspection, empathy, and conscious actions in others.
‘White supremacy is a beast, and defeating it will take all of the above elements and more, applied at all levels of our societies. But the results will be so, so beautiful,’ he added.
Dominique’s series of heartfelt tweets have garnered a lot of attention since they were posted last week.
His original tweet has racked up over 500,000 likes and almost 3,000 comments from fellow users.
His discussion about the lack of color diversity in band-aids was a learning experience for some users, as many revealed they had never really thought about the color of the bandages before.
One user commented on the now viral thread, saying: ‘I never realized that band-aids were even supposed to blend in to your skin or that people cared if the band-aid did or didn’t show.
‘I’ve always just bought the cool ones with the cartoons…. #26YearOldChild. I’m honestly glad I know now!’
Meanwhile, 27-year-old actor John Boyega chimed in, as responded to the tweet and stressed the importance of such band-aids.
He said there have been times when makeup artist have had to ‘paint it brown’ in order for the band-aid to blend in with his skin tone.
The Star Wars actor said: ‘Yep! On film sets where we get cuts alot, make up artists have to paint it brown to get you picture ready.’
‘Lol an average day in an action film like Star Wars comes with jumps, falls, crashes and explosions etc. We patch up and keep it moving,’ he added.
Dominique’s tweet also encouraged many to invest in the darker colored band-aids for friends and family, having previously never realized the importance of them.
One user said: ‘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.
‘I’m stocking these in my house for my neighbors and friends that come over if they should ever need one!’
Another said: ‘This has inspired me to get some for my first aid kit at work!’ and similarly, another added: ‘I think I’m gonna have to find some of these for the first aid kit at work.’
‘My stomach just flipped Dominique. I’ve never given that a second thought as I’m white. I will now and would love to buy some for my niece; if I could find them,’ added another Twitter user.
Meanwhile, others said they had been aware of the lack of diversity in the color of band-aids, and were happy to see Dominique’s photos.
One user wrote: ‘This was one of the first things that made me aware of “race” when I was a kid. I remember asking my mom about the bandaid color…Also the “flesh” crayon.’
Others made reference to other products that are now available in a wider variety of skin tones, including ballet pointe shoes, which recently became more widely available in a larger range of skin tones tan the typical pink shade.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Shirley Donlon