Saturday, 17 March 2012

Is that make-up or are you really that pale?

I can't even begin to list the amount of times I've been asked if my skin colour is 'real' or not. Most people assume that because of the way I dress that I'm armed with thick white powder. These sorts of questions seem to intensify in summer, I'm often told that I 'need a bit of sun' or receive jokes about whether or not I'll turn to ash when I go outside.  People have also recommended fake tan, bronzers and blusher apparently because it will make me look 'healthier,' or have expressed pity about me having such pale skin. I often have people brand me 'pasty' and 'unhealthy'.

Having pale skin seems to be considered to be a negative thing to have. I don't know whether or not this is due the media constantly posting photos of extremely tanned girls on beaches, or the amount of fake tanning products that are now available, but it frequently seems to me that pale skin is considered to be unattractive, and a negative feature to have.

My sister for one is constantly complaining about being 'pale' despite being quite dark skinned, and nowhere near as pale as I am. I for one am perfectly happy with my pale complexion, and I have absolutely no desire to tan. If anything, when I'm away I lather myself in my factor 50 (I also have to buy allergy sun cream, I am allergic to most brands) and stay in the shade as much as possible. I honestly don't think that it's worth the damage to my skin, nor do I have a problem with being pale. It seems to surprise a lot of people that I actually like being pale. I am also anaemic, but I come from a generally pale family. My grandmother, who is just as pale as I am (and looks very good for her age!), always told me as I growing up that I was 'pale and interesting' and I still hold by that, especially since tanned skin seems to be the norm nowadays. I see no reason to dislike my skin. I may have white legs when I'm wearing shorts in summer, but so what? I'm happy with my skin.

I can honestly hold my hand up and say happily that I have never used fake tan, and I have never sought out the sun for tanning purposes. I enjoy sunshine in moderation, with as little damage to my skin as possible. I'd much rather keep my paleness without the risk of skin damage. A friend of mine had skin cancer a few years ago, to me it's just not worth the risk.

Personally I think that all skin colours are beautiful, and I am very happy being as pale as am. It's the perceptions of other people that make me think of my paleness as an abnormality. A lot of people appear to have the view that pale skin isn't as healthy as tanned skin, or the idea that pale skin is less beautiful, I don't agree with either of those opinions. People often feel the need to remind me of how 'horrendously pale' I am, and how I apparently need to soak up the sun and 'get a bit of colour.' No thank you! I think that if you're happy with the colour of your skin, that's all that matters. I don't understand why people feel the need to preach at me about my pale skin, as though what they're telling me will be for my greater good, or something along those lines. I love my skin, and when I'm away in Spain this summer, I'll the be the one reading under my parasol with my factor 50 on while everybody else bakes in the sun, and I'm by no means ashamed of that.

What's your view on fake tanning? Do you find it necessary?


  1. Brilliant post! Look at Dita von Teese, she's one of the sexiest women in the world, and she's got the most beautiful milky skin. I heard she even banned her models from getting tanned before her recent catwalky thing for her underwear line.
    I have never used fake tan, nor do I have the desire to. I look ridiculous with a tan - I tan quite well but I just don't like it on me!
    I love being pale - big up the Snow Whites.

    1. Thank you! Dita Von Teese is gorgeous isn't she? Didn't know that about her underwear line, that's really interesting!

      I don't know what I'd look like with a tan, but I don't think I'd look like me. I think being pale is definitely part of what makes me 'me'. :D

  2. Good for you Claire :) there is nothing wrong with being pale and I agree with 'pale and interesting'! I've always been pretty pale, I live in the mediterranean now though which means I do tan a bit in Summer but not loads and I've always had the same kind of comments.

    I absolutely love your colouring and your complexion :) people are just very closed minded and follow whatever the media tell them. Right now thats tan = good. however this changes so often! xx

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