Blog · March 15, 2016

Where’s Your Tan?

11890942_714588115352272_3538800520308741667_nHaving grown up in Italy, where just about everyone I know goes to the beach to get a tan for a week or more during the summer, my pale skin was always something I had to defend. Even when I spent a week at the beach with my parents in 2012, I returned to a barrage of comments regarding the continued pallor of my complexion. I wore plenty of suntan lotion and spent most of the time under the umbrella, reading my favorite book, listening to music and inhaling the beautiful mediterranean sea air. No need to fry myself.

I was never a fan of tanning. It’s boring. And it does not help that I’ve had a couple of sunburns in my younger days that were just horrible and steered me away from such endeavours. The one and only time I decided I was going to get a full-fledge tan I was 14 years old during a summer holiday with my cousins in Senigallia. It was the summer of 1978. Believe it or not, we had a “race” between my two cousins and myself of who was going to get “darker”. I lost, mostly because I started paler than them. I lost getting such a horrible sunburn in the process that we were “out of commission” for a couple of days, which we spent indoors lathering our body with this Spanish cream called: “Elimina el dolor de las quemaduras del Sol”. We laughed and cried. At the end of the day I like my skin just the way it is. Bonus: no worry of skin cancer. I mean, tanning is not exactly healthy anyway.

Truth be told, my skin is even lighter than most Italians. I inherited such skin from my dad’s side of the family, which came from an area in North-East Italy, north of Vicenza called “Sette Comuni“, where everyone looks like that. When I see photos of people that live there I see myself. It’s really odd in some way. I was reading a book about the origins of the people in that particular area and it states they came from an area called Jutland in Northern Europe which is now part of Denmark. They were called “Cimbri“. Apparently there was a big migration hundreds of years ago and these people lived in isolation for the most part. So, this explains my fair complexion, which is extremely evident in younger photos of my dad’s father, a blonde hair, blue eye wonder.

Nicky is also quite pale. Even paler than me. Of course he never goes outside and his skin is covered with bandages 24/7 so that could account for some of that. His skin mostly resembles his paternal grandfather’s family, which was from a town called Ubrez in the modern Slovakia. People often ask me if I keep him out of the sun because it would hurt him. There are indeed conditions, such as Xeroderma Pigmentosum where the skin cannot handle the sun at all, but with RDEB the skin is fine under the sun with, of course, sunblock like a regular person, however, a sunburn would surely means blisters and it would be much more painful to deal with.

Here’s some funnies for other Pale Girls:

1. Try as you might, spray tans will never, ever, ever look anything close to natural on you.
2. SPF 50 is as low as it gets. Otherwise, it’s Lobster City.
3. Buying makeup at the drugstore means veering all the way left for the lightest, fairest foundation.
4. “Who’s the fairest of them all?” You win. You always do.
5. You go on vacation and see a tan line and come back so excited, but no one even notices a difference.
6. Every time someone holds up their arm next to yours for a tan comparison, you lose. The one day you win, you Instagram immediately.
7. Flash photography. No.
8. Good luck trying to talk to that cute barista without blushing.
9. Experimenting with dark hair colors is like toeing a fine line between “bombshell” and “gothic.”
10. Basically never being able to wear a white shirt.
11. “Oh my god, do you glow in the dark?” Sit down, people.
12. People can’t believe that you actually like being pale. Own it.

Taken from here:

Love & Light,