Why Band-Aid Black & Brown Skin-Toned Bandages Are Controversial? Role Of Browndages & Tru-Color Bandages!
On June 11, 2020, Band-Aid, announced on its Instagram account, @bandaidbrand, that it would be "launching a range of bandages in light, medium, and deep shades of brown and black skin tones that embraces the beauty of diverse skin."
The launch comes during the time when the citizens of the United States are protesting against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died in police custody of white police officer Derek Chauvin and his team.
Band-Aid announces its new bandages in June 2020 (Photo: Band-Aid/Instagram)
The band aids firm wrote in its post, “We are dedicated to inclusivity and providing the best healing solutions, better represent you. We promise that this is just the first among many steps together in the fight against systemic racism.’
A spokesperson from Band-Aid told CNN that the company was donating $100,000 to Black Lives Matter. The official also stated about Johnson & Johnson plan to donate ten million dollars to "fighting racism and injustice in America" over the next three years.
Band-Aid History: Who Invented The First Band Aid?
According to Ban-Aid website, its first adhesive bandage was invented by cotton buyer Earke E. Dickson in 1920.
Over the years, the brand innovated and made many additions to its style of bandages from “Sterile” bandages, “Clear strip” bandages, "Sports strip" bandages, “Advanced healing” bandages, “Comfort sheer” bandages to clear bandages. It also made red band aids to support humanity’s fight against HIV/AIDS. The company states that “$0.20 from the sale of each box” of its red Band-Aid will be donated to support the US and global efforts "for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Still, Band-Aid product line failed to include multiracial bandages before it launched the “Perfect Blend” line in 2005. According to the company, the line was discontinued later because of “lack of interest at the time.”
A petition "Band-Aids for ALL" was raised in 2015 demanding the company to expand its products’ color from the default Caucasian’ flesh color.
The commonly available product of Band-Aid is its soft-pink colored bandages.
Why People Are Speaking Against The Band-Aid Decision?
Ever since Band-Aid’s decided to launch the extended shades of their band aids, it has been getting heat on social media. Many have claimed that the company ignored the African American community and minorities by not infusing diversity in its band-aids for “99 years."
Many argue that the Band-Aid’s new plan to launch diverse band aids is only a performative allyship stunt amidst the ongoing massive #BlackLivesMatter protest against injustice and racism.
Further, Band-Aid is also being criticized over social media for trying to take the market share of the other band ads companies who had already diversified its products to accommodate diversity.
If anyone’s looking to support a black-owned small business that was obviously already making these shades but not getting Band-Aid level publicity, check out Browndages ðŸ‘ÂÂÂÂÂhttps://t.co/gwMUpUeXji — Raquel D'Apice (@theuglyvolvo) June 12, 2020
Bandaid really waited until June 2020 to release bandages in flesh tones other than caucasian. The bar could not be set any lower. — Er!c (@ericthulhu) June 14, 2020
for people who say white privilege isn't real i've never been able to buy a band-aid that was anywhere close to my skin tone until now, in 2020. band-aids have existed since 1920. pic.twitter.com/wmjFgLrbyt — â„“αÑƒ. | bIm (@softlcorp) June 13, 2020
Why have I never seen a dark skin toned band-aid in a store? Oh that’s right, racism!!!! — Alex (@AlexBPoteet) June 13, 2020
Voices In Support Of the Band-Aid New Line Of Bandages
At the same time, Band-Aid has been getting support for its decision to diversify the colors of its band aids.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, & we are encouraged to see other corporations jump into this market. Since 2014, we have been dedicated to diversity in healing, believing in the beauty of who you are,” tweeted Tru-Colour Products after Band-Aid announced to add variations.
Band-Aid and Tru-Colour have been competing in the same band aids market.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, & we are encouraged to see other corporations jump into this market. Since 2014, we have been dedicated to diversity in healing, believing in the beauty of who you are. #skintones #diversity #diversityismorethanatrend #bandages pic.twitter.com/9AzWbE0RZf — Tru-Colour Bandages (@tcbandages) June 10, 2020
Other Band Aid Companies Manufacturing Multiracial Band Aids Before Band-Aid.
Here are some other band aids companies who were already creating multiracial band aids.
Tru-Colour Products, LLC
Tru-Colour Products, LLC was the first company to address the need for multi-tone skin bandages. The brand states that “it believes in the beauty of the individual and exists to provide skin-tone shade bandages and kinesiology tape for everyone.”
Tru-colour relies on its rich history to target its band aids. According to its website. It began in 2014 as an idea of an adoptive father to “celebrate" his son’s identity.
Tru Color’s sells its bandages with the slogan "Diversity in Healing."
Toby Meisenheimer is the co-founder and CFO of Tru-Colour. It also has a diverse ownership team. In 2018, it products were made available in Target stores nationwide. It has recently been expanding internationally to be available in Europe, Australia, and other areas around the world.
Browndages is a small family-owned business set in Atlanta. It came into existence after an African American couple decided to create distinct color bandages for each of their children.
At present, the company offers six different sets of bandages in shades of brown as its slogan “The Perfect Bandage For Brown Skin” suggests. The Browndages comes in varieties for adults, boys, girls, and unisex. It had appealed for FedEx’s small business grant.