Summer is disgusting. I love it, but it’s basically just a humid hellscape of cicada buzzing and hot garbage smell. Sure, the beach and outdoor drinking are greatly appreciated after months of forlornly staring out random windows and stuffing my face with vitamin D supplements, but it’s really the pits. You never stop sweating for three months straight and you forget what it’s like to live a frizz-free life.
But none of these rather unfortunate things hold a candle to the real reason why I dislike summer. A reason so personal, so shameful that it’s hard for me to really come to terms with: I’m pale. And it sucks.
But when I expressed this suckage to a fellow pale lady, she was aghast. She was completely shocked by my lack of love for my lack of melanin. She simply could not comprehend “wasting” my money on a spray tan. Clearly, she had never found herself in a “surprise beach trip” emergency. But also clearly, she was trying to convince me that being pale doesn’t totally suck. And look, there are totally some people who are really pulling it off. If you have super dark, shiny hair, then being pale provides an insanely striking contrast that’s downright enviable. On the flip side of that coin, if you have red hair then pale skin also looks totally amazing and basically burns your image onto people’s brains. But me? I’ve got non-distinct hair and my eyes are neither super dark (mysterious!) or super light (Swedish supermodel!). Basically, being pale just makes me look frumpy and/or like an extra on Downton Abbey.
I look chunky and sallow in photos next to my tan friends. Wearing white becomes a minefield. In fact, dressing for anything in the summer becomes a minefield. Your cellulite is more apparent. You’re more prone to breaking out in random red patches. You bruise more easily than an ego during recruitment. It is flat out totally the worst.
And yes, I realize that I don’t have to stay pale if I don’t want to, but the tan alternatives I have come with major downsides. Tanning beds are a literal death trap (I’m not kidding. If you use them, odds are you will get skin cancer. Or at the very least, be left at 40 for a younger woman because you look like you’re 65). And for some pale people who never tan but only burn, they’re not even an option. Although I think they’re the lucky ones. They say it’s better to have tanned and lost than to never have tanned at all, but I have photographic evidence that says otherwise.
Spray tans can look really great and won’t slowly turn your cells into mutants, but you have to be willing to invest some major time and money. And there’s still the issue of accidentally sweating it off or somehow fucking it up due to a surprise nap attack before it sets.
“What about just using Jergens and shutting the fuck up about your White Lady problems,” you say? Well, because Jergens is basically only good so long as you only apply it to your legs. It’s impossible to get an even application of it anywhere else on the body. Plus the smell is…not appealing. It also takes forever to fully absorb and so I usually end up falling asleep with it still drying and then waking up in a sweaty cocoon of self-generated humidity.
So basically, I have no options and am currently eagerly awaiting the development of a Tanning Pill. Yes, I know they already technically exist, but I want the FDA to approve one. No offense, but ordering them off Amazon and having them shipped from Eastern Europe is not ideal.
Then again, neither is being pale. So I guess we’re back to square one?.