Friday, April 8, 2011

Is ghostly white the new tan? Can it be? Please?

I have heard people say "White is the new tan."  I assume they say this because either 1. they are really NOT tan, or 2. they are making a statement about sun/uv-rays safety.  Either way, I want this to be true. 

I am, really pale.  And so is my little girl.  We're just pretty pasty.  I recognize this mostly the first few weeks of short/skirt/dress season.  And this week, I'm at the beach--there's no hiding it now!  I used to sport a nice glow in the summer...and winter because I would bronze myself at tanning beds.  This was, of course, when I was young and cared way more about appearance than I do now.  Plus, I don't remember all of the hubbub and mainstream media coverage of the dangers of that beautiful, healthy-looking tan.  If that was in my face, I am pretty sure I would have foregone the rays because, well, I'm scared of lots of things--not the least of which is cancer of any type--and now, the research speaks loud and clear to me.  (For the record, I visit the dermatologist twice a year because I worry about my bad tanning decisions of the past, but I digress...)

So now, I'm pretty conscientious about the health no-nos of having that amazing tan.  And I sport my pasty legs with pride--and, seriously, when I say pasty, I mean put your sunglasses on if you are around me in the sun because these things reflect the rays in a major way.  And, by pride I actually mean I'm a little embarrassed.  But WHY?  I am a generally health conscious person--I practice and promote healthy habits for myself and my family.  There's no shame in that!  So why is slathering on the sunscreen a problem in my eyes.  I guess it's not so much a problem in my eyes as I assume it is for the other eyes who catch a glimpse of these legs. 

Way back in the day, being pale was a status symbol--it meant you could afford to work inside (or not work at all).  I'm not saying that is right by any stretch, but my oh my how far we have gone in the other direction from that perspective, huh?  Now, with all of the info on the dangers of the sun, why can't we embrace the fact that some people are just pale and that should be beautiful, too--it's HEALTHY.  And even if you are outdoorsy, you now have the option to protect your skin. This is good.

If you have read my blog, you know I am not a fashonista by any stretch of the imagination.  I don't "do" trends and I'm generally not "in" on anything except what is on sale.  And don't even get me started on my hair.  Other than being relatively thin, I don't have much in common with those ladies in the magazines or on tv.  Nope.  I used to be embarrassed, but I got over that for the most part.  My hair is big and curly (frizzy) and my clothes may be from 5 (or more) seasons (or years) ago.  No big deal in my book.  But I can't move past the tan-thing.  I've tried the bronzers--I guess I do something wrong because I end up streaky, splotchy, and/or some unnatural shade of orange-ish.  Not good--I prefer the paleness to the obvious fakeness.  I would go to those spray-tan places that are supposedly not so obviously fake but those things cost a pretty penny that I am not willing to fork out.

So, I am just going to social-psychologically construct my own reality and say that white IS the new tan.  I'm going to just run with it.  And while I'm running, if you see me coming, slip on the shades to protect YOUR EYES from the rays my pasty, sunscreen-covered legs may reflect in your direction.


  1. I am proud to be pale! I grew up pretty much outside. We were constantly at the lakes and the rivers and just playing out in the yard. Yay for small towns :) I have has some seriously crazy burns before. A few years back my mom had skin cancer removed from her arm. That scared the crap out of me. I get checked every year and I wear sun screen everyday!

  2. I also am very pale!!!! I hate it, and wish it was in style. And like you think that's the only thing I am really embarrassed by. :( Oh well. Maybe one day it will be cool again. I grew up in Ecuador so growing up it was cool b/c it meant I was rich and american. But now here in the US it stinks. :)