In Other Craft-Store Scandals…

Who knew craft stores would be home to so many scandals? But beneath their glitter, pipe cleaners, & plush for teddy bears, I guess the heart of American culture beats… Take the names of craft store acrylic paints.

According to Ceramcoat paints, by Delta, Santa must can only be a Caucasian — in fact, “flesh” tones only come in Caucasian.


I remember when Crayola renamed the “flesh” crayon “peach” sometime in the 60’s (Mental Floss says it was 1962, but I was born in ’64 and I remember the change — maybe it took forever for the new crayons to roll-out on store shelves?). And I believe there were several attempts by Band-Aid to promote varying shades of “flesh” tone bandages over the years… But that was apparently only after they tried more fanciful designer colors — ‘cuz decorating Dorothy Kilgallen in bright rainbow color Band-Aids is more important than providing options in the race-rainbow of skin tones.


I would have happily photographed any other, darker, warmer, etc. shades of “flesh” or skin tones, but there weren’t any.  They do, however, have a color for hippopotamus flesh. Make of that what you will.


Anyway, while I had my camera out in the paint isle, I also found myself compelled to take a photo of another paint. Plaid’s Apple Barrel acrylic paint in Territorial Beige.

That’s an odd name for a paint — just how is a color “territorial” other than by bleeding & taking over all the pottery, paper etc.? (Not something I look for in a paint.) That shade name was also used by Delta too, making it even weirder. Most amusing of all was seeing that at least one bottle takes it’s name to heart; see how one of the bottles is begging to take over the empty row next to it? Perhaps it even intimidated the other color to vacate the premises.


As for why I was searching for paint shades, that’s a project I’m not ready to dish about yet; stay tunned.


  1. I was born in ’65 and I do have clear memories of a crayon being labeled “Flesh.” It was a peach-sort-of-color and not the color of any person’s skin — on the planet Earth. I remember being aware of that.

  2. A search; “Crayola crayon color history” landed me on Wiki. There is a detailed list and it says the same; that “Flesh” was renamed “Peach” in ’62. I guess the explanation for the fact that you and I remember the “Flesh” crayon is that there were so many manufactured that it took several years before they were all replaced.

    There is another explanation that I came up with. My folks were poor when I was growing up. I did receive hand-me-down toys from older kids because my folks could not afford new toys. Maybe I had an old box of crayons.

  3. I suppose we had some secondhand crayons too — but I vividly remember the new big box of Crayola’s with the built-in sharpener — that held “flesh” — so I’m betting that poor or not, we remember “flesh” years after it was supposedly made due to the combination of the incredible number of crayons made and the slower turn of store inventory nationwide.

  4. We’re DEEPLY INTRIGUED by what you wrote. These truths that the world shows us in elusive ways are ones that most would not notice. Nor do they care to notice or accept. WELL OBSERVED!

  5. Isn’t that an accurate depiction of the territorial paint. Probably a depiction of the very few (maybe even the 13) that rule the world.

  6. Thanks, Cerene+Carin,

    Sometimes, life is in the details. Then again, if one spends their days noting nothing but the tilt of every product on the shelf, well, they probably miss the big picture things. Balance, children, balance!

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