It is a truth universally acknowledged that an open Google Chrome page will inadvertently stumble onto an image of the tanned hind quarters of Kim Kardashian. Or Kourtney Kardashian. Or Khloe. Or…who’s the other one?? And we cannot buy a paper at the newsagent without seeing golden-brown skinned, bikini clad women posing in the sand on the covers of displayed magazines. Make no mistake, nice golden brown skin is where it’s at in this day and age. It seems to be the epitome of sexiness, health and beauty. Unfortunately, I have had the misfortune of being born with very pale skin. I have blue eyes, blonde hair and am so fair-skinned that if I had lived 100 years ago, a young Hitler may have had a poster of me stuck up on his bedroom ceiling.
As the years have gone on and the hole in the ozone layer has got bigger, I have developed freckles and sunspots everywhere. Whilst I’m not in the league of a Lindsay Lohan, I am far from the classic peaches and cream look of a Cate Blanchett. Unfortunately for me, very white skin is not considered desirable on a woman nowadays. Back in the era of Jane Austen, being pale-skinned was considered most beautiful. In my favourite book ‘Pride & Prejudice’, the nasty Miss Bingley gossiped and sneered at our heroine Elizabeth Bennet behind her back for being too tanned when she visited Pemberley. Mr Darcy, a man deeply in love with Lizzie, conceded that she was rather tanned from riding about in the sun, but he still liked her anyway. IN SPITE of her tan!!! Ah, Mr Darcy, we would have been great together.
Those of you who are not lookalikes of Narnia’s white witch may not realise the troubles we have to go through. Let me enlighten you a bit so you can see how the other half live:
1. Doctor’s Visits
Thanks to my parents for this complexion and a family history of skin cancer, I need to go to the dermatologist for regular skin checks. I strip down to my bra and undies and have a doctor, who is probably a bit too young & good looking, examine my entire body with those microscope glasses. I deal with this awkward situation very maturely – by giggling. He then chuckles. We’ve developed quite a comfortable relationship in the 4 years I’ve lived in this town, laughing at each other nervously as he explores my body…What was I talking about? Oh right. Then I pay an enormous bill and leave for another 6 months. George is probably reading this right now and simultaneously google searching in another window for a new dermatologist, possibly an unattractive & elderly woman doctor with calloused hands and no sense of humour.
2. Beach Trips
I am lucky enough to live 5 minutes from the beach. But a simple trip to the beach is an activity that is fraught with danger for the pale-skinned woman. For starters, it’s unheard of to venture out between 10am and 2pm. That is the time to huddle at home in our 50+ SPF (yes, in case sunlight bounces in through the windows) and bunker down in front of the TV. And when we do go out, our loved ones assume we have changed religions as only our eyes can be seen through the little slits in our full head and body coverings. There is no lounging around on the sand in a bikini looking sultry. There are no romantic ‘From here to eternity’ moments in the crashing waves with our special someone. There is serious packing that is required beforehand which resembles a normal person’s holiday checklist. I take a wide brimmed hat large enough to shelter Wagga, a rash shirt, board shorts, sarong, sunglasses and sunscreen…oh the sunscreen. The amount of preparation and packing makes a quick beach trip almost not worth doing. The only other option I have is to go at dusk…shark feeding time… Great.
3. Faking It
Fake tan applications seem to be a frequent and often ghastly regime for the pasty skinned. While I have never had a spray tan, I have tried once or twice to apply fake tan myself at home and it looked awful, though granted, I am not good with my hands. I had marks around the elbows, knees and the whole lot was as patchy as your Grandma’s crochet. Often fake tans end up looking either too dark or orange and I haven’t seen many that don’t stand out like a pig on a spit at a PETA protest. I think the only people who can actually get away with them are those who are only boosting an already existent natural tan. Unfortunately, the pale seem to feel they need these fake tans to feel better about themselves and fit into ‘attractive’ society. We need to nip this in the bud, like, yesterday.
Ladies, I implore you to simply be yourselves. If you happen to be a naturally tanned lucky biatch, good on you. Work it baby, and I wish you all the best. But if, like me, you’re as white as a wedding dress, please let’s give ourselves a break! Join me in being ‘Proud and Pasty’. Ditch the fake tan, get intimate with your dermatologist, slip slop slap and most importantly – don’t be ashamed. Let’s band together in a fluorescent pack, sashay our chalky chazzis all over town with confidence and bring sexy back. Mr Darcy would approve, I know it.