A Whiter Shade of Pale

The other day one of the guys at the gym commented on how tan he was from spending every weekend at the lake . I lifted the leg of my capris to let him compare his leg to mine and he informed me that I should be spending some of my free time in the sun. I disagree, I love being pale and can’t think of anything more boring than lounging in the sun for hours. I have things to do.

I wasn’t always this way. As a teenager, I spent many weekends basking (or baking) in the sun. I remember trying to get my “base tan” so I could go to the pool daily without sunscreen. I had two horrible burns, including one that resulted in my needing prescription burn cream, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to be bronze. This was the 80s and everyone loved to be tan.

About 20 years ago, I read an article on the dangers of tanning and started wearing SPF 15 sunscreen under my makeup. But I would still tan every so often, especially if I had a special event to attend. Then the popularity of self-tanners soared and I jumped on board. I dealt with the smell, stained sheets, the streaking and scrubbing it all off to start over because it meant I could look tan without wasting my time sweating in the sun.

Manufacturers of self-tanning products made improvements and claimed their product wouldn’t streak or smell. I found one I liked that was easy to use, had very little odor and left me with a realistic glow. It was also $50, ouch. Because it lasted almost a week before starting to slough off, the bottle lasted almost all summer, but I’m cheap and didn’t want to keep investing in it. Then I found leg makeup and bronzers that lasted until they were washed off with soap and water. Not bad, but messy. Most of the sprays misted all over the bathroom floor or the tub and were hard to remove (because they were sweat-proof).

This year, I’ve embraced my whiteness. I attended a wedding wearing a short black sheath dress and heels – bare legged. No one gasped or was blinded by my legs. And they looked pretty darned good, if I say so myself. Sure, I like the idea of a tan but the reality is that I’d rather be pale and healthy than tan and wrinkled or have cancer. Go pale chicks!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “A Whiter Shade of Pale

  1. You’ll always look good with bare legs because you have killer legs to start with! We can thank our genes – and Grammie – for that.

  2. Carrie

    Amen! Just about every other country prefers pale and I am so glad that we are finally catching on! Pale is pretty!

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