Yes I’m Pale and No, I Don’t Need a Tan

· I don't want a tan. Get over it. ·

August 4, 2016 2 Comments

This post is a bit of a rant for us pale-faced ladies who are bombarded each summer with comments like “You need some sun girl!” I understand that North Americans are obsessed with bronzed skin that browns like a Thanksgiving turkey, but I was not born with the tan gene. I was born with the “burn to a crisp before I get any sort of tan” gene. The sun and I are not friends and haven’t been for a long time.

Me + Sun = Pain

I learned to hate the sun from a young age. My childhood friend and her family are all bronzed gods and I got many a burn from trying to keep up with them. It usually ended with me lying on my friend’s bed while having Noxzema applied to my back. My paleness earned me great nicknames like “Casper” or “vampire” from family and friends. I even considered moving to South Korea, where my paleness would be accepted with open arms and a sun visor.

Over time, as I became more knowledgeable about the effects of the sun on skin, I avoided it like the plague. I dreaded the vacations to the Caribbean, because I would usually arrive home with either third degree burns or declarations of “you look the same as when you left!” You’ve probably seen my type – I’m the person on the beach with the large sombrero-sized hat, massive sunglasses and full bottle of spf 50 sitting under the palm-covered huts. I never leave the house without spf on my face – ever.

I’ve come to terms with my paleness and have no complaints. I plan to use it to my advantage and maintain my youthful spf-ed skin until I’m 90. What I can’t understand is why people feel the need to comment on it. Would it be fair for me to make a comment like “you should lose some weight” or “have you considered Botox?” I don’t think these observations would go over well with most people, so why do us pale-skinned folk have to put up with such criticism?

I’ve come to expect these comments each year. And each year I usually respond with “I hate the sun” or “the sun ages you.” I usually get looks of confusion or pity in return.  I guess I wanted to write this post to inform our tanned counterparts that a) we don’t need a tan to look great and b) if I wanted a tan, I’d have one. Sorry (not sorry).

 

Anyone else struggle with this?

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  • At least you have an excuse. I tan very easily (everyone in my family does and they’re all very dark) but because I realize what the sun does to your skin I try to stay protected and don’t sunbathe. So I’m ‘the pale one’. And I get so much stick for it. I really hope one day people can just appreciate natural skin or at least respect it when people choose not to tan.

    • Agreed. You would think with all the information out there about the sun’s effects on aging and causing skin cancer that people would be a little more careful. At the very least they should be respectful of your personal choices.

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