Ditching the tan: why pale is interesting 

As summer rolls around again, every pale person’s obsession intensifies – tanning.

Although whiteness sadly still comes with a whole lot of privilege, being pale is not a good thing in the beauty industry. The ideal is a very narrow one, and the ideal is golden.

All skin tones are beautiful in their own way. Everyone has colours they look amazing in and their own unique look, which should be celebrated. But while I see people with darker skin celebrating it, it seems all fair skinned people want to do is change their skin tone.

We go for expensive spray tans, the daily grind of gradual tanner or (worst of all) sunbathing and sun beds. We will actually put ourselves at risk rather than look pale.

There are loads of sensitive reasons why we might not feel like we can own our look. Aside from the media constantly telling us tanned is better, it’s a bit of a scary thing to stand up and say ‘I like being white’!

If you genuinely love tanning, great. But I have a feeling that for lots of pale women, it’s just another thing magazines are telling them they should be doing. Pale skin is just another thing to be ashamed of and to try and change.

The thing is, I love being pasty. It’s my look and it suits me. On lots of occasions when I’ve been foundation shopping the counter staff have tried to ‘warm me up’, and I look weird. It’s not me.

If you’re happy doing your thing, by all means carry on. But if you’re secretly sick of constantly hiding your pale skin – why not just be yourself instead?

8 thoughts on “Ditching the tan: why pale is interesting 

  1. Nia says:

    I’ve had makeup counter staff try and warm me up before too – and as soon as I’m out of there I head straight to the nearest loo and wipe it all off! I’m actually crazy allergic to fake tan and I burn easily so pale is the only way for me 🙂 I always use the lightest shades of foundation etc.

    It’s funny because before the 20th century pale was the complexion of choice for centuries. Noble women would go outside with masks because peasants had tanned skin from working in the fields and it was therefore considered unfashionable.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Words by Nina says:

      I burn easily too – or at least I think I do, I’ve tried not to test that theory out too much! When I come back from a holiday, no one believes I’ve been.

      Interesting isn’t it. Fashion is WEIRD. And usually best ignored!


  2. Kara says:

    I have milk bottle white legs (my Dad actually commented at how blindingly so they were recently!) and I’m more than OK with that! I used to feel really self-conscious in summer, especially as my Dad is actually from Italy so by rights I should turn a beautiful golden colour like he does, but now I prefer to embrace my English Rose look. Hooray for us pale girls!

    Kara xx


    Liked by 1 person

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