At a young age, while drawing a rudimentary self-portrait stick figure, I would search for the right skin color amongst the choice of crayons inside the Crayola box of 64. The distinct color named flesh was a choice, but I didn’t connect to its peachy-pink hue. I would give it a miss and choose instead my favorite five-year-old color, purple, to draw hands, fingers, feet and fill in my happy face. “Ok,” I would sit back and critique, “that’s fine.”
I am happy to know, and announce to you if you have not yet discovered, this multi-generational coloring challenge has been beat. A gold star for Crayola! The Crayola company has committed to celebrating diversity and colorfully expressing yourself by creating their new Crayola Colors of the World! The 24 new crayon colors are designed to resemble over 40 global skin tones better representing people around the world.
The Colors of the World crayons were launched last year on UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Children and adults alike are excited. Crayola’s Colors of the World was chosen as an award-winning 2020 holiday toy and won a New York design award.
Crayola spent months on consumer testing and collaborated with professionals such as Victor Casale, co-founder of MOB beauty products. Casale offered his 30 years experience in developing foundation colors for global skin tones. The specially formulated crayons reflect the full spectrum of human complexions. What a feat!
Casale shares, “I have spent my life trying to create truly global shade palettes because I know what it’s like to be with a person who has finally found their exact match. They feel included and recognized, and I am hoping every child who uses these crayons and finds their shade will have that feeling,” says Casale. “Growing up, I remember mixing the pink and dark brown crayons to try and make my shade, so I was thrilled when Crayola asked for my help to create the Colors of the World crayons.”
Crayola acknowledged people’s need as they looked for skin colors not accurately represented. The company’s hope is to cultivate a more inclusive world for children of all ages, races, cultures and ethnicities with their new inclusive skin tone palette. Their wish is also for the new colors to encourage learning about others.
Crayola’s CEO Rich Wuerthele expressed, “With the world growing more diverse than ever before, Crayola hopes our new colors of the World crayons will increase representation and foster a greater sense of belonging and acceptance. We want the new Colors of the World crayons to advance inclusion within creativity and impact how kids express themselves.”
Children are attracted to things of their likeness and now they are able to match their own skin color or tone and remember the crayon’s color name. Each of the 24 realistic skin tones in variations of almond, golden and rose have a specific name such as Very Light Rose, Medium Golden, and Extra Deep Almond. Crayola Colors of the World are available in a variety of crayon, marker and colored pencil packs. Kids will enjoy more creativity and make drawings more detailed and realistic when coloring themselves, family and friends. The company also created a Colors of the World Coloring and Activity book to get you started. Take a picture of your colored self-portrait and post to #TrueSelfie on Instagram!
It is exciting to see the positive trend of commitment to the awareness of inclusion, acceptance and tolerance. This global company, with interests in children, schools and families, made the decision to implement a call to action. They are doing their part where they are most influential. There is a new direction and focus of energy on teaching the beauty of diversity. The choice to be an example for good and kindness is coming from big companies all the way through to dedicated individuals.
As parents, we have the power to influence our children for good. The best time to start is when they are young. The social categories they are constructing are still soft and flexible. Point out intolerance when you see something on tv or around you. Follow up by sharing an idea for a kinder behavior choice. Embrace other cultures by demonstrating an accepting, open-minded attitude. Read books together showing families that don’t look like yours. Another opportunity is to enable your child to have experiences with people of other groups. Also, practice what you preach remembering children are keen observers.
The best way to build an attitude of acceptance in a child is to be an example yourself. This is how we as parents can do our part. We can raise our children to not only accept and appreciate, but celebrate all the beautiful, diverse and individual colors of the world.
Golden Days at Home, LLC is not affiliated with Crayola.