At a moment when race is at the very top of the national conversation, Crayola is, finally, providing kids with more than a handful of colours to choose from when they draw self portraits, family portraits and pictures of their friends. Crayola is calling the set “Colours of the World,” and it’s available for pre-order now.
You may remember Crayola releasing its first line of “multicultural crayons” in the early 1990s. It was a box of eight crayons pulled from its standard selection; colours like peach, tan and mahogany—plus black and white crayons for “blending.” This is not that. This is a set of 24 crayons (plus eight other classic colours for eyes and hair) that were developed in partnership with Victor Casale, formerly the chief chemist and managing director of MAC cosmetics and currently CEO of MOB Beauty.
“Finding someone’s right shade has been a goal of mine for my whole career,” Casale says in a promotional video for the crayons’ release.
Now kids will get to choose from colours like “very light golden,” “medium deep rose” and “deepest almond” to make their portraits. Cat Bowen writes for Romper what this means for families—particularly multiracial families:
Coming from a multicultural household, there is literally a crayon in this box for everyone in my family, from my Chinese husband to my Jamaican brother-in-law, to my Puerto Rican nephews, and even my own nearly-translucent Slavic mountain hue. There is a colour for all of us—which will undoubtedly be used by my daughter, who is rarely seen without her drawing pad and crayons, and who has, in the past, decided to Picasso all of us with varying shades of neon skin, because flesh tones weren’t an option.