“I’m finished with my picture, but it doesn’t really look like me,” the boy looked up at me with big brown eyes as he handed me his paper.
It was self-portrait day in the third-grade class I was teaching. Looking at my student’s picture, I recognized the favorite red cap he wore to school each day and his new tennis shoes he had proudly shown me just that morning. But he was right, something was a bit off. The skin in his picture was an odd assortment of brown, red, and tan crayon strokes. I smiled at him as he ran out to recess.
I haven’t thought of that boy in years, but I thought of him today as I read the news today about Crayola’s new “Colors of the World” crayon box.
Exactly as it sounds, the new crayon box is made up of 24 skin-color crayons inspired by the rainbow of skin colors found in our world.
There is also a 32-pack option that will include four hair colors and four eye colors.
All the way from the fair to the dark, the colors are all there.
Crayola released a video on its website sharing the new project with the world. “Crayola is for kids, and wants all kids to feel included.”
Watch the video here:
To make “Colors of the World” happen, the well-known crayon brand teamed up with Victor Casale, CEO and co-founder of MOB Beauty, whose life’s work has been dedicated to matching colors to skin.
The project holds extra significance for Casale, who shared his own backstory. “Growing up, I remember mixing the pink and dark brown crayons to try and make my shade. It was almost impossible to do.”
As for Colors of the World, Casale said, “I am so honored to be a part of it. This is going to change things. People can identify with themselves in a box of 24 crayons.
The crayons can be preordered at Walmart.com ahead of their early July release, as well as a corresponding “Colors of the World” coloring book.
I, for one, will be buying these crayons the second they hit the shelves. I’ve always loved Crayola, but this latest project has won my heart forever.
“Colors of the World crayons gives kids the power to color themselves into the world they see,” the last line in Crayola’s video states.
And what a beautiful thing that is.