Well, with summer approaching my thoughts turn once again to the same things it turns every year.
Iced tea and lemonade, watermelon and cherries, grilled food of all sorts, how to keep sand out of my house with beach volleyball season in full swing, and the colour (or lack thereof) of my skin.
As many of you may know, I have many middle names. “Tanned” is certainly not one of them.
One time I started tanning, I believe in support of my older sister for her wedding. And it was amazing. The LIGHTS, the WARMTH, the HUM! All so hypnotic and mind-numbingly wonderful. I know it’s bad for you and I have no desire to be a leathery, wrinkled hag at 34 (I’m aiming for 42) so my addiction was brief, but the memory is lasting.
And one time I actually got real-life tanned, and it was in Mexico. The LIGHTS, the WARMTH, the RUM!
Also hypnotic and mind-numbingly wonderful. But I looked like a 4-year-old who fell full-bodied into her mom’s bronzer.
Alas, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I rather like my mind un-numbed, and I am fair of skin and prone to pinkness. Also, I don’t like being hot. The warmth of a tanning bed or a beach in Mexico with ocean breezes is totally different from the heat of the actual regular outdoors, and past 26 degrees I’m pretty much zeroing in on the nearest shade so I can sit unmoving until the heat wave passes.
On the one hand I don’t have to worry about how I look in my bathing suit since people are too blinded by my glare to see the state of my abs. On the other hand, said glare may result in being mistaken for a beached beluga and shoved out to sea by some well-meaning marine biologists. That’s a risk I have to be willing to take.
I am not that lovely alabaster white that goes with dark hair and red lips (think Snow White and Audrey Hepburn), just run-of-the-mill sickly, but I’m ok with it.
Basically, I think everyone should embrace their natural skin colour and own it. Partly because I know there are lots more of you out there with white skin and really, it’s easier to start a trend when you’re not alone.
But mainly because that really is the way God made some of us, and it’s beautiful to be you! Down with skin cancer and wrinkles!
But also partly because I don’t want to be the only glowstick on the beach this summer.