|In Spain a few years ago. No idea what I’m doing in the pool, just loving life I guess! Whatever floats your boat, Past Me|
It’s that time of year again when people start making the odd comment about my (admittedly very white) skin. If you’ve read the title of this post and you’re also incredibly pale like me, then it’s likely you know exactly what those comments can be and are shaking your head as you think of them.
I’ll explain: I’m talking about comments that are meant as advice or jokes (or just tumble out of people’s mouths without them thinking) but are actually pretty rude/annoying/narrow-minded, even if the speaker doesn’t intend to be any of those things. A rather large amount of people are incredulous at the fact I’m happy with my natural skin colour, something which is irritating on the surface but also kinda sad when you think about it a bit more — are we really that conditioned to think that not having a tan is a travesty?
(One thing I want to make very clear is this: my problem is not with pale people — or any people, for that matter — who use tanning products. My favourite thing about beauty is the choice it offers us, so if you wanna get your tan on then by all means go for it. My problem is with those who seem to have an issue with the fact I don’t want to tan and am quite happy being pale.)
Oh my God, you’re so white!
Really? I’d never noticed. Thank you, kind sir, for enlightening me. I will move forwards with a weight lifted from my shoulders.
Seriously, though, I can’t believe how white you are.
It’s a pretty standard thing when you’ve got ancestry like mine. Please stop staring at me like I’m a car crash.
Your legs are blinding me!
Don’t look/wear sunglasses/you are clearly not being blinded.
Aren’t you gonna use fake tan?
Nah, I’m good.
Fake tan would make such a difference on you, you need to try some!
I’m sure it would, but I don’t want it to use it.
You know, you can get gradual tan if you’re worried about looking orange.
I can’t be bothered to use it. Also, I’m happy the way I am, ta.
Can I hold my arm next to yours?
Sure, go ahead. I’m sorry you need to use me to boost your fragile ego.
Doesn’t being so pale bother you?
I could never walk around looking like that.
You don’t have to?
A little bit of colour would do you good, you know.
That’s what make-up is for. I don’t put Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks on my wishlists for nothing, you know.
A little bit of a sarky post but damn, it feels good to get that off my chest. Moral of the story? You do you — as long as you’re happy then you’re sorted.
Have you ever experienced comments like these before? And how do you feel about tanning? Let me know in the comments!
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about cruelty-free beauty, vegan & veggie food, and trying to lead a less wasteful life. I throw the odd think piece in there, too.