Of White Skin and Sunshine

I’m about as pale as a person can get, and I seem to stay that way year round. In the summer, when my friends are showing off their tanned arms, I am just as white as I was in mid-December. I don’t tan easily, and I’m not one to sit around soaking in the sun. For starters, it’s a really boring activity. Just lay there and eventually turn over? Nah, point me towards a hiking trail, ideally in the shadows, so I can open my eyes without squinting.

Whenever I say that people always seem reply with, “You gotta bring a book with you, and read as you lie there.” I get that, it’s a swell idea, except for the fact that reading outside is incredibly distracting – with nature and all those people around, there’s too much to observe! Plus, my brain would start obsessing over shadows from the books pages creating awkward tan lines across my face. I simply lack the ability to relax my mind long enough to lie down and let the sun turn me into leather.

It doesn’t help that I burn hella easy. Observe. This was from being in the sun for roughly fifty minutes at my mom’s concert band performance on Saturday:

My burn

My burn


And the truth is, I’m okay with remaining pale year round. Tan lines lost their appeal on me when I watched Holiday In the Sun, a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie, as a child. They had these crazy tan lines that looked like someone took white out and drew on their skin. Not cute. I also remember changing out of my swimsuit after playing on the beach all day in high school (with no sunscreen of course), looking in the mirror, and laughing hysterically. I looked ridiculous. Dark arms, face, and legs, pasty white boobs, and my stomach was a very subtle almost beige.

If my whole body was uniformly tan, then I could deal – course then I’d have to buy new make-up, and I’m too cheap for that.

I don’t know if I’ll happen to get tan this summer as I explore hiking trails, canoe out on the lake, and attend the occasional picnic. I do know that before I tan I’ll burn, and 90% of the time that burn fades back into blindingly white skin.

Happy summer everybody!





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