Man Shares Emotional Reaction to Putting on Band-Aid in His Skin Tone for the First Time | 22 Words

Beige or "nude" band-aids are commonly found in drugstores. But, what about band-aids for people whose skin color differs from beige?

A forty-five-year-old man has discovered a band-aid that blends perfectly with his skin tone. And it was an emotional ordeal for all parties involved.

Dominique Apollon, from Oakland, California, expressed his gratitude for the launch of dark brown band-aids, tweeting a photo of his hand featuring the new product on his pinky finger.

Apollon, who’s vice president of research for a racial justice nonprofit, claims that he’s never found a band-aid that suited his skin tone.

He was astonished at how emotional he felt about it. “For real I’m holding back tears,” he tweeted.

Read on to find out more!

We’ve all cut our finger on something at one time or another, right?

And it sure as hell hurts. Especially if you accidentally slice your thumb open when chopping up tomatoes. Ouch.

Even Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has sliced her finger.

The band-aid kinda suits her, right? A light beige-colored band-aid, as far as we're often concerned, is all that’s needed to cover cuts up until they heal.

But who’d have thought that something as unexciting as a band-aid could trigger such a sensitive and animated discussion about racial identity?

That’s exactly what happened when Dominique Apollon, forty-five, sliced his finger open at his home in Oakland, California…

Dom is African-American.

via: Twitter

He works for a non-profit racial awareness organization. He’s the vice president of Research at Race Forward, the Center for Racial Justice Innovation.

After affixing the dark brown band-aid…

via: Twitter

He soon realized how it matched flawlessly with his own skin tone. Seriously. You hardly notice it’s there, right?

He was so over the moon that he posted a heartfelt tweet about it.

“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," he said, referring to the band-aid. "You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I'm holding back tears," he said.

His earnest tweets went viral and have been shared ninety-six thousand times.

He tweeted, “I am so amazed and humbled that these tweets have gained so much positive attention around the world."

Dom wasn’t quite prepared for how emosh he’d feel about it.

“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," he said.

This basic everyday item has prompted questions about racial identity.

This felt like belonging. Like feeling valued. Sadness for my younger self and millions of kids of color, especially black kids," Dom tweeted. "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?"

Dom’s series of emotional tweets have been liked by over half a million Twitter-users.

What’s more, actor John Boyega was so enthused by Dom’s posts that he tweeted his own encounter of using a “nude" band-aid while filming Star Wars.

Boyega tweeted Dom, saying...

"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."

Even an author cashed in on the viral tweets.

Malorie Blackman wrote Noughts and Crosses, which is a novel about a world divided by race. The Crosses represent black people (the dominators) while Noughts represent white people.

And wow. What an impact Dom's posts have made in the Twitterverse.

A worker in a school posted, “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."

The forty-five-year-old's tweets even inspired one user to get some for their work's first aid kit.

The tweeter exclaimed, “This has inspired me to get some for my first aid kit at work!" Another stated they’d add it to their shopping list for their after school program.

But many social media users don’t know that you can purchase band-aids for different skin tones.

Heaps of tweeters claimed they had no idea.

Another posted…

“Flesh colored bandaids have been around for some time now as the original tweet indicates; the problem is that they’re NOT readily available in all stores. "Every person tweeting in this thread about their surprise can take action by requesting that your local retailer sell them," said the user.

There were so many responses to Dom’s heartfelt posts.

Many Twitter-users agreed with him, saying they felt the “same way" when they discovered the dark-colored band-aids.

Another user said that they’ve been buying multi-colored band-aids for years.

“I purchase multi-color band-aids (red, green, etc.) at IKEA since many years. They fit all skins and are funny."

Others replied with their own individual experiences of commonly-used items they felt hadn’t symbolized them properly.

"Oh, man. The 'flesh' crayon confused me so much when I was a kid, & my mom tried her best to help me find the crayon that matched me the best, but I remember being upset that nothing really worked,'' someone tweeted.

A few tweeters wondered why the same hadn't been done for dolls, make-up and haircare products.

“Similar requests should be made for dolls, make up, skincare/hair care products, (“flesh colored" undergarments), story books, Bible characters (you know those felt kinda things you stick up on scenery when telling stories in Sunday/Hebrew school), stickers, etc…," posted the Twitter-user.

One user admitted they use “sassy" band-aids rather than “nude."

The user commented on Twitter, saying the problem is there are too many “skin tones" that it’s impossible to match them all. “With all due respect, part of the problem is that there are so many skin tones that you could not match them all. Now that they are available, I use the ones that come in sassy colors."

However, some users just didn’t see the point in Dom’s posts at all.

One aggravated tweeter posted, “Oh just shut up people..... Just shut up. Thanks." *Eye roll*.

One posted that Dom’s posts were “trivial".

“How good and privileged your life must have been to worry and cry on such a trivial issue. I truly envy you, my black friend." But Dom’s tears weren’t about the bandage color. They were about the bandages being a symbol of "anti-blackness."

Dom was overwhelmed with the emotion his tweets had sparked.

And we're not surprised, really. “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," Dom tweeted.

He went on to say…

"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," Dom posted.

Amazon has even had to re-stock the bandages, as they’ve become so popular.

You can purchase the band-aids via retailers like Amazon and Target.

But they’re owned by Browndages.

And Dom has a lot of love for Browndages, tweeting, “Love LOVE hearing that companies like @browndages are also gaining new followers from this. "Starting a business is hard! It's great that @tcbandages is getting attention and may it long continue. But it's so important to also consciously support Black businesses."

The discussion about bandages for people of color goes back to 1969.

Even back in the late ‘90s, a guy tried to bring his ideas to the market. But stores weren’t interested whatsoever, and his business was brushed aside.

With any luck, that’s changing.

Several companies now produce bandages for different skin tones. Tru-Color Bandages was launched by a dad who has mix-raced kids. He was concerned that they wouldn’t fit it in and would battle with feelings of not belonging.

Did you know? Ballet shoes are now available in a larger range of skin tones than the typical pink shade!

A British dance company has started selling two shades of ballet shoes. Hopefully, thanks to the stir created by Dom’s tweets, there’ll be more awareness about the lack of diversity in the color of band-aids as well as other products on the market.