Ever since Nelly and the St. Lunatics were reunited in 2008, a family-size, multi-variety box of sterile bandages has sat dejected behind two medicine cabinet doors flecked with proof of my roommates’ eccentric toothpaste-to-tooth application.
The “Ride With Me” rapper and notable unique trend setter allegedly broke allegiance with his own trademark adhesive when St. Lunatics group-member Lavell Webb, also known as City Spud, was released from prison. Nelly had believed him to be innocent and wore the strip as a sign of loyalty. When Webb got out, Nelly took his Band-Aid off and I, too, gave up my bandage habit in the name of solidarity.
Or, another version of that story goes something like: I started waxing my legs instead of shaving them, which meant I put a temporary pause on the gory act of nicking my ankles and knees.
For years, there the Band-Aids stood: round-headed soldiers of beige complexion with giant pores that allowed them to breathe. The box in which they were packed grew sallow and weather-beaten from the shower’s humidity. I only ever remembered I needed one of them once I was five blocks away from home in pinch-y shoes and it was too late. Blisters formed; I’d be forced to outsource and “borrow” free bandages from a nearby deli.
How the mighty had fallen. Once a hero accessory of the year 2002 — arguably MTV’s final golden year (thanks in two parts to Nelly) — Band-Aids and their CVS, non-designer label iterations were relegated to mere quick-fix solutions of absentminded casualties.
But then along came Kim Kardashian, patron saint of beige.
The color — a sort of caucasian elbow — did not start with her. “Blush” trended on the red carpet years before E! and Crayola sought out euphemisms for the racially-exclusive hue description, “nude.” “Mauve” has been on the move for as long as high school interiors have been terrible, “tan” can be traced back to skinned animals’ burnt hides (sorry) and let us never forget Carrie Bradshaw’s “naked dress,” which was just a touch lighter than Nancy Kerrigan’s nylons but equally as iconic: it was a key factor in her sexual courtship with Big.
Still, Kim Kardashian didn’t invent a lot of things — selfies, forehead threading — and yet through her adaptation (or appropriation) she’s caused stuff to spike before the popular eye and do what everyone who shares her last name or bloodline excels in: trend.
From her personal foray into the world of Band-Aid dressing bled a whole slew of cool people dying to dress like monochromatic adhesive bandages.
Up here ^ we have Joan Smalls, Kendall Jenner and Lily Donaldson exiting a Balmain afterparty in quicksand.
Meanwhile, down below, we see Kylie Jenner shaking up her taupe with blue netting while also applying the Band-Aid palette to her mouth via Lip Kit.
Rihanna’s done the color, so has Lupita Nyong’o, Khloe Kardashian, OPRAH and freaking Beyoncé.
Well, you know what they say: three in a row means it’s trending; over five, including Bey, is a movement. Plus Oprah? That’s the co-sign of the century.
Which means this is my cue to rescue those bandages from their sad little box above my sink. It’s time to let them see the world again. To cover barely-there paper cuts for the sake of the story as well as the accessory. It’s time to confuse strangers from two blocks out so they question whether or not I’m streaking.
It’s getting hot in here, alright. But rather than take off clothes, someone hand me a set of Spanx: they are the perfect shade of Band-Aid beige (a color collaboration/name that I’m going to propose to Essie).
So, do I support the takeover of taupe, my earlobe and sand? Yes.
Like a pre-bandaged Nelly said, “Must be the money.”