Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Lighter Shade of Pale

"Honey...are you sick?"

This was once asked to me by the mother of one of my boyfriends. We were sitting outside and I was in shorts, my chalky, white legs exposed for all the world to see.
I didn't want to embarrass my boyfriend's mom, but I couldn't lie, either. So I just said what I always say when somebody asks me if I'm sick.

"No, I'm just really pale."

She quickly stuttered an awkward apology, but I didn't mind. I mean, I AM pale.

You know how girls like to have fat friends so when they are compared side by side, they look thinner? Well, my friends like to stand next to me so they look like some kind of goddamn Malibu Barbie. Bitches!

If an albino and a piece of chalk had a daughter, it would be me. Under florescent lighting, I'm so white I'm blue. I have enough bronzer in my bathroom to fill a dumpster.

There are some advantages to being this pale- like, I use it as an excuse to get out of outdoor activities.
"Sorry, I really can't go on a hike/bike/run- you know, my skin." My dermatologist adores me- he calls me an 'alabaster miracle'- not kidding. It's flattering but a little weird. My husband says I remind him of a Nicole Kidman or Kate Blanchett (minus the looks, money or fame)- but I think that's a lie. (He's married to me, so he has to say stuff like that.)

Ideally, I would have been born in England in 1432. That's when being pale was the hip thing to do- it separated you from the super-tan farmers and made you look rich. People would powder their faces to look just like I look naturally. Damn you, 21st century!

There's really nothing I can do about it, except apply sunscreen every day of my waking life and smear on enough bronzer to make me look like I am a living, breathing human being as opposed to a walking corpse. Oh, and if you see me out and about? Please feel free to stand next to me- you'll look like Malibu Barbie.


  1. At least it is not the 80's, before sunscreen really caught on in the over 12 but under 40 set. Also, maybe you could score a part on Trueblood. Now, if I could just get my husband to compare me to Nicole Kidman minus the legs, hair, money, fame, and alabaster skin....

  2. Whatev - Pale is TOTALLY the new tan. (At least, that's what I've been telling my pasty self all these years...)

  3. Isn't it cool to be pale these days? What with all the vampires running amok? Personally, I find tan people to be scary...like those fake tanned, orange people? Heeby Jeebies...

  4. Oh my gosh I actually just applied self tanner and settled in to read your post. I too am among the ranks of the melonin-challenged. When I was younger my legs were so pale you could see the web of veins beneath resulting in a very attractive look that caused my 4th grade crush to dub me 'Salami skin' Good times.

  5. I'm with you on the so-pale-I'm-blue factor. I was once on vacation in the Caribbean,and a leathery, wrinkled woman asked me if I'd just arrived, wide-eyed at my paleness. When I told her I'd been there a week she nearly fainted. But at least her rough hide cushioned her fall...

  6. I'm pretty pale myself. Mainly because I never have time to go out in the sun for more than a few hours. Last year I went on a cruise to Mexico and I went tanning a few weeks before just so I wouldn't get badly burned while on vacation.

  7. You have a dermatologist?! This is what sadly, what I picked out of your entire post. I'm a little jealous. Oh and being pale is the new tan. Rock it out.

  8. My dermatologist hates me because I was a lifeguard for 4 years and, as a teenager, thought that I was invincible and, therefore, never in need of sunscreen. He just loves looking and my moles and shaking his head while muttering something about "sunscreen doesn't sound so bad NOW, does it..."

  9. Hi, LSLW. Lindsay at Dinosaurs! And Other Unemployment Adventures! gave me a Beautiful Blogger Award, and I'm passing it on to you - congrats! Check out my blog for the rules.

  10. That's so funny, I refer to myself as "Blue-American" when asked my race/ancestry.

    The underside of my arm is translucent, like one of those bottom of the sea floor fish.

  11. Haha. I JUST recently - in my 30s discovered that I indeed, must wear sunscreen and sunbathe with a beach umbrella and a hat. Sigh.