Vrinda Jagota
August 04, 2016 2:26 pm

When whiteness is so often seen as the norm, and every other body type is a deviation from this accepted standard, something as simple as finding nude tights that match your skin is a part of one’s daily struggle.

This was the case for Tayo Ade, who was preparing for a Samba dance performance and couldn’t find tights in a color that were made for her skin. When she was told by her teacher to just wear beige tights, she became so frustrated that she quit the performance.

Based on her own experience, and those of her daughter who once asked her if straight European hair is “better” than her natural Afro, Ade was motivated to do her part to fix the problem of unequal representation with her new website, Fleshtone.net.

The website offers a sea of products for people of color. Tayo scours the web for anything from construction paper to bandaids that come in skintones other than white.

She hopes the new site will become an Amazon of sorts for people of color, providing people with a directory of products they might not be able to find otherwise. As the site grows, she hopes to build a community of people who are passionate about diversity.

“I always wanted a resource for the full spectrum of products that relate to darker flesh tones and there wasn’t one–so I made one,” she said in a recent interview.

It is so exciting to see how much time and effort she is putting into her project, which is so, so important for people of color everywhere.

“It takes quite a long time to search the internet and try to look for what people have said about them. So, having one place to really build a community and find out what people are saying is really important,” she says. “I am a role model for my kind and representation really does matter.”