Crayola expands the skin tones to 32 colors


Here is a list. They have gone as far as possible to make sure they do not reference any ethnic name:

  • Medium Almond
  • Deepest Almond
  • Medium Deep Rose
  • Extra Deep Golden
  • Light Medium Almond
  • Extra Deep Rose
  • Light Medium Rose
  • Extra Deep Almond
  • Light Almond
  • Very Deep Almond
  • Light Rose
  • Deep Golden
  • Light Medium Golden
  • Medium Deep Golden
  • Very Light Almond
  • Deep Almond
  • Light Golden
  • Very Deep Rose
  • Very Light Rose
  • Deep Rose
  • Very Light Golden
  • Medium Deep Almond
  • Extra Light Almond
  • Medium Golden

I’m sure I remember “flesh” crayons being around in the early 1970s, but perhaps this is a Mandela Effect thing. And yet I also remember at some point early on they became “peach”. So either there were a lot of old crayons going around for a decade or everything I remember is a lie.

Also: “flesh crayon” sounds like a euphemism for something very rude.

ETA: Third option: they weren’t Crayola but some off-brand still using a “flesh” designation after Crayola had switched That seems more likely.

They should properly be graded from Seal to Seal’s Teeth.

Yeah, I was thinking of posting the same thing after my beatdown. Another couple of options…

  1. Crayola may have stopped labeling them “flesh” in 62, doesn’t mean the stockpile of old packages was sold immediately, and doesn’t mean schools / homes / etc. used them up immediately. I know we had a bin of crayons from lord knows how long ago that I used at home; I also remember my father having a big box in his closet that had a whole bunch of small-ish things they would use for gifts or extras on gifts - I could easily see a box of crayons sitting in the bottom of that box for years!
  2. Communal memory still had the "peach’ as “flesh”, and in the lily white town I grew up in, it was just “known” that the flesh crayons were now peach and you called the peach “flesh”. Possibly the basis of the Mandela effect.

I, personally, am going with your third option. You’re a kid - are you really aware that your crayons are Crayola brand vs. Crapola brand?

Well, holy shit. TIL that “Indian red” refers to the country of India, not American Indians. To be honest, I haven’t thought about that color as an adult, and perhaps should not be surprised given color names like “Prussian blue,” but as a kid, I definitely thought it was a reference to Native American skin tone. I used Crayolas mostly in the 80s, well after the “flesh” color was retired. We always used peach, or sometimes apricot (if we lost our peach crayon), and sometimes even pink for Caucasian skin tones. I don’t ever remember a time when we were told to color Black skin tones with any of those – naturally, we would use some shade of brown or tan or burnt sienna or something like that.

I was also born in 1968 and I DO. In this case I’m pretty sure from my recollection that this was in the context of school-issued crayons and undoubtedly was due to a storage room full of an old scholastic purchase.

I’m pretty sure I did too (or at least that it was somehow related to the American kind of Indians). Perhaps they should have called it “India red.”

This is the whole “series” of Bloom County strips. “Indian Red” mentioned in the third one.

Somebody [@mixdenny] posted above that Crayola has eliminated all ethnic names, including Indian Red and Prussian Blue, which is fine, as long as they are consistent about it, which it sounds like they are. However, are there still non-kid-safe names like “Cadmium Yellow” in the set, as the comic strip suggests? Prussian Blue seems to have turned into Midnight Blue, not Cyanide Blue.

I’m wracking my memory trying to figure out what possibly offensive thing Cadmus did, but I’m missing it.

“Chestnut” needed a disclaimer so kids wouldn’t eat it. You definitely would not want them sucking on cadmium. A lot of people use Arylide Yellow (aka “Hansa Yellow”).

In fact, I hope they are all pretty non-toxic, but in that case why would cadmium yellow (or lead white, anything like that) be in there in the first place?

ETA What I suspect is, the comic just made it up. There is no Cadmium Yellow listed on this page

(However, there was apparently a Metallic Cadmium Red released in Canada!)

It’s descriptive. Cadmium-based pigments were invented in the 1800s and were popular throughout the century for their strong, brilliant colors. Cadmium yellow replaced an ancient yellow pigment called “orpiment,” an arsenic sulfide compound, ironically as “less toxic.” So, the “cadmium yellow” Crayon would presumably be an analog to that specific color.

I only remember two crayon brands when I was a little kid in the late 50s/early60s: Crayola (in the yellow and green box) and Binney & Smith (in the black box with a big red dot). Crayola was always my preference.

All Crayola products are non-toxic.

Challenged by that radical publication The New Yorker.

I definitely remember both peach and flesh when I was a kid in the early and mid-1970s. Crayola crayons were everywhere. Each household had at least one box, often more. And of course every classroom had piles of then.

Binney & Smith is the company that makes Crayola. I don’t remember any other brands that were actually advertised but there were definitely other brands.

Really? I’m only going by my memories of 60+ years ago!

I was. I used both Crayola and crapola crayons as a kid, and the Crayola were much nicer. I had a strong preference for Crayola.

Also, i had a box box of crayons in the early 60s that included “flesh tone”, which seemed a little odd to me, for reasons unrelated to race. But i think crayons can sit in a shelf for a few years.