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Bandages and Representation

Recently, on our twitter account @MyBlackMatters we posted the tweet below.

Within a few minutes of posting it, the tweet got hundreds of retweets and soon the negative comments began rolling. We recived many replies and messages from people telling us how racist, pointless, and unnecessary a black colored bandage was. You can see a few of these tweets below.

 

I’ll be the first to admit that there are many issues in the black community and bandages that match our skin should not be the focal issue right now. However, there is a larger issue that needs to be addressed in all of this. Many people fail to realize that by default, many things in this country are designed and controlled for and by white people. Bandages are a prime example of this. Bandages are meant to be discrete and be flesh colored. Take a second to digest that.  I’ll say it one more time. Bandages are meant to be discrete and be flesh colored. This means they are not meant to be seen on your skin. Bandages were first invented in the 1920’s by Johnson and Johnson and were manufactured in a single color; pink. In a 1955 a TV commercial, the company showed a bandage on the hand of a Caucasian woman: as a voice over said “Neat, flesh-colored, almost invisible,”. That was in the 50’s and even now in 2015 we continue to wear these bandages that were never created for us. Some of us (as seen in the above tweets) even go so far as to become angry and frustrated when bandages are actually made for black skin. As black people, we need to recognize that we should not be supporting products like bandages that are not made for us. Tan/pink bandages are one of the remaining ways that white supremacy is reflected in the smallest ways. We should all rather be applauding the efforts of companies such as Tru-Colorr Bandages, who take the time and initiative to make products for us. Although it is just a bandage, buying from companies such as Tru-Colour Bandages leads to small victories in gaining representation in all areas and showing corporations that we will not support them if they don’t make products for us. Next time you injure yourself and need a bandage take a second to think twice before putting on pink or tan colored bandage that is meant to be “Neat, flesh-colored, almost invisible,”.

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