My Crayon Project

Shiseido

01/

The Challenge

Japan is one of the most homogenous nations on the planet, with only 3.4% of the population born overseas. As such, notions of diversity are far more nuanced than they are in other countries, especially those in the West.

 

In schools across the country, homogeneity and uniformity are valued, and subtle differences in skin tone are noticed. ‘Hafus’ - kids of mixed race - are often seen as outsiders, despite being Japanese.

 

It’s a problem exacerbated by the fact that there’s even a word for skin color - ‘Hada-iro’ - which 79% of the population associate with just one color: pale peach.

02/

The Story

As an expert in skin color, Shiseido set out to educate kids with a program designed to celebrate their differences, no matter how small. They did it with help from an unlikely champion: a box of crayons.

 

Partnering with schools, a unique class combining ethics and art was created. In the sessions, Shiseido scientists scanned each child’s skin to create a unique color profile. This was then matched with a crayon of the same color. Kids drew themselves, swapped crayons, then drew each other.

 

The classes provided a highly social, interactive and fun way to learn about and appreciate others’ differences, and were applauded by children and teachers alike.

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