Undercover Colors wants to be the first fashion brand to help women combat sexual assault and it’s coming out of the gate strong with a discreet new beauty item that could allow millions to protect themselves from a potential attack. Four North Carolina State University undergrads are currently working on a nail polish that changes color when exposed to Rohypnol, GHB or Xanax — better known as the date rape drugs. Stephan Gray, Tyler Confrey-Maloney, Ankesh Madan and Tasso Von Windheim are accepting donations to help them put the ingenious lacquer into production.
So how does it work? The wearer slathers on a few coats of the polish, and when she’s offered a drink, all she needs to do is dip her finger into the liquid. If the polish changes color, that means there are traces of a date rape drug present in the drink. “While date rape drugs are often used to facilitate sexual assault, very little science exists for their detection,” reads the Undercover Colors Facebook page. “Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.”
The team at Undercover Colors hopes their invention will place more responsibility on the actual rapists, rather than the victims, which happens all too often in these cases. “We hope to make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman’s drink because there’s now a risk that they can get caught. In effect, we want to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators.”
The polish is pretty genius, and it’s a subtle way for a woman to be aware of her surroundings and prevent a potentially horrific situation. But while we applaud the Undercover Colors team for standing up as young men against the type of violent and devious behavior exhibited by some of their peers, it’s sad that date rape has become so prevalent that there is a need for this type of product at all.
Undercover Colors is still taking donations to help develop the product. You can send the brand some cash here.