Do not teach children 'skin colour'

Do not teach children 'skin colour'

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Karishma Desai started this petition to Kokuyocamlin and

With all the ongoing discussions about #BlackLivesMatter, I started thinking about something I was taught in school and how I believe it was highly inappropriate but did not understand the gravity then. And if this is still being taught, the least I can do now, is try and bring a change.

As kids in school, I remember having a weekly drawing period where we were asked to bring oil pastels for coloring. Most of the kids would bring Camel, Camlin or Faber Castell colours and our drawing teachers taught us one particular colour as 'skin' colour. I am sure you know which shade I am talking about! We were told to use that shade while coloring human figures.

At that time, I couldn't help but wonder why we were told it is a 'skin' colour when hardly anyone's skin resembled that colour. It made me believe that I do not look normal because I was on the darker side of the so called 'skin' colour.    

I believe this thought was so strongly engraved in us in our childhood, that even now, people use that shade for colouring human figures.   

While teaching something like this is absolutely unacceptable, a big part of the problem lies in the companies manufacturing colours and crayons. To give an example, the most widely used Camel and Camlin brands KOKUYO CAMLIN in India, have labeled this so called 'skin' colour shade as 'flesh' colour or 'flesh tint' colour!! Whether these companies provide a packaging of 20 shades or 50, that one and only colour is called 'flesh'! All other skin resembling colours are simply black, brown, dark brown, light brown, etc. 

Are we teaching our children that any colour other than a 'flesh' colour is not a normal skin colour? Are we indirectly telling them that this is what skin should look like? And the biggest question, why should any colour be labeled as 'flesh'?

I think we should teach our children that they can colour the human figures with whichever colour they feel like - whether its black, brown, dark brown, etc. And the first step to this would be to label colours with any name but 'flesh' or 'skin'!

I appeal to Kokuyo Camlin, DOMS and all other colour manufacturing companies to please change their shade cards and stop calling any colour as 'flesh'.

Thank you,

Karishma

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