“I’m holding back tears,” Dominique Apollon says of his experience
April 26, 2019 01:05 AM
A 45-year-old man is rejoicing after finally finding an adhesive bandage that matches his skin tone.
Dominique Apollon, who is African American, shared his powerful reaction on Twitter writing, “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.”
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Along with the tweet, Apollon shared photos of the bandage against his skin and at first glance, it’s almost invisible.
“You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I’m holding back tears,” Apollon tweeted.
Apollon, the Vice President of Research at Race Forward, the Center for Racial Justice Innovation, he wasn’t prepared for how emotional the moment he put on a flesh colored bandage which was his flesh color and not that which was designed for someone who is Caucasian.
“I definitely didn’t expect the complex emotions that would swirl as I watched it just… blend in,” Apollon wrote of the healing adhesive.
“A seemingly trivial exercise I’ve repeated 1000x on my body with ‘regular’ ones since childhood. Self-administered #antiblackness,” Apollon wrote of the most common bandages, which come in much lighter shades.
Apollon then expressed that finding a bandage that matched his complexion made him feel “valued.” “This felt like belonging,” Apollon 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. pic.twitter.com/GZR7hRBkJf
— Dominique Apollon (@ApollonTweets) April 19, 2019
However, with his excitement, Apollon was also filled with sadness for his “younger self and the millions kids of color, esp black kids.”
He said the small act of finding the bandage was a reminder of “countless spaces where my skin is still not welcomed. Feared. Hated.”
“Like, ‘Why am I really thinking all of this ’bout an effing band-aid?’” Apollon questioned.
Apollon also revealed he purchased the healing strips by the brand Tru-Colour, “almost as an afterthought at the online FSA Store months ago, spending down health care $ my employer thankfully provides.”
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.
— DCasp (@AuRevoir3179) April 20, 2019
Your point is so profound. I am guilty as I had never once given that a thought, for being such a small thing. However, it is rather significant and I thank you for the enlightenment. I am happy for you. Thanks for sharing, I learned something today.
— Mike Morigeau (@mikemorigeau) April 22, 2019
Wow! This is SO eye opening and emotional! About time some changes are made for all products to be inclusive ❤️
— Mᴀʀʟᴇɴᴀ Sᴛᴇʟʟ (@MarlenaStell) April 21, 2019
“Dunno enough about manufacturer to fully vouch for them, but truly appreciate how valued their product made me feel,” Apollon said.
Apollon’s testimony has since ignited a number of conversations about the importance of representation and inclusivity.
“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 Band-Aid color… Also the ‘flesh’ crayon,” one user wrote in response to Apollon.
“Your point is so profound. I am guilty as I had never once given that a thought, for being such a small thing. However, it is rather significant and I thank you for the enlightenment. I am happy for you. Thanks for sharing, I learned something today,” another user tweeted.
“Wow! This is SO eye opening and emotional! About time some changes are made for all products to be inclusive,” a different user expressed.
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“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,” Apollon wrote.
According to Tru-Colour’s website, its motto is “diversity in healing.”
The bandages can be bought at Amazon and Target.