Holidays are approaching and with them comes the anxiety of getting my legs out and boobs out (bikinis people, minds out of the gutter please)! I’m going on two holidays over the next few months and it got me thinking about how paranoid and self conscious I used to feel (and sometimes still do) about my skin. Being very pale in the summer comes with its difficulties… number one – burning (OUCH)…. number two – the comments:
“Why are you so white? What’s wrong with you?”
“Have you never heard of fake tan?”
“Why don’t you go out in the sun and stop being so pale?”
In our society, there seems to be a pressure to be tan. I’m not quite sure where this came from but it’s there. Be a bronzed Goddess and be beautiful. Just go into any Boots or Superdrug and there are shelves and shelves of fake tanning products. Tanned skin is seen as beautiful and pale skin as some sort of problem that needs to be fixed. I do not tan, it’s physically impossible! If I forget to re-apply my suncream, I burn and then go back to white again. Someone once even said to me, “Just put some oil on your skin, you’ll tan then”…. idiotic. If I put oil on my skin and then went out in the midday sun, the only thing that would happen would be third degree burns. I am not a chicken, I have no desire to bake like one.
Over time, the comments build up and you just get a stock list of reasons why you’re skin is something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. I guess the pressure has got to me at times; not wanting to wear shorts or skirts because I know people will make comments. I tried using those moisturisers with ‘tanning’ product in them in the past and the only thing that happened there were weird orange streaks on my legs which just made things worse.
I can only remember one person giving me a compliment on my pale skin, ONE, and it was the lady waxing my legs very recently. Not that I need compliments, but when the majority of the comments are negative, when a person says something nice you really notice it. Why is being pale so negative? The truth is, it isn’t. Like with many other things, society puts pressure on women and men to look a certain way and it is impossible for us all to fit into these neatly labeled boxes, so why try? Be you.
I’m a pale princess and I now love it! As I’ve got older I’ve realised that you have to love the skin you’re in and no one should make you feel embarrassed for what you look like. I know I am a beacon of white when I get out of the swimming pool, there is nothing I can do about it and you know what, I don’t want to change. Being pale sets my apart from everyone else and I’m now ok with that. So this summer, I will be there at the pool with my factor 50 as always and you can think what everyone else can think what they like.
I am not saying that if you want to be tanned that there is anything wrong with that. If you wanna tan up, go right ahead, but don’t make others feel inferior if they don’t or can’t choose that option. All skin tones are beautiful.
To all my pale princesses or princes out there, I’m with you! The moment you embrace who you are, you will feel so much better.