in defense of being pale, or, I am the color of a blank sheet of paper and I’m proud of it

I’m a white girl.

No, seriously. I am a white girl not only in the stereotypical ways, but in every literal sense of the word. My skin has always been extremely pale, and no matter how much I try, I can’t get a tan. During my three years of experience as a camp counselor, the only times my skin turned slightly darker than its usual shade of “eggshell” were when I got baked to a crisp during our field trips to the Michigan sand dunes, even despite my liberal and frequent applications of SPF 50 sunscreen. Nursing my skin back to health after these burns sometimes resulted in a minor tan (and LINES! Tan lines! I never get those!), but alas, it would fade almost instantly.

You know what, though? I have accepted my fate after 23 years of being a ghost. I’ve gotten used to the slew of “pale” and “white” comments I get from people who are just meeting me (especially in the summer), and I’ve even learned to put up with those annoying jerks who love to put their arm next to mine and “compare” our skin tones. Because guess what? IN 30 YEARS I WILL STILL HAVE YOUTHFUL BABY-BUTT SKIN AND YOU GUYS WON’T, HAHAHAHA.

Immaturity aside, at least my chance of getting skin cancer is a bit slimmer because I don’t bother trying to tan. And while my snowy skin did come with a lot of other lovely genetic gifts (eczema, sensitivity to practically every type of metal, those little weird bumps on the back of your arms, FRECKLES GALORE, etc.), I’m learning to be proud of it. I’m accepting my ivory complexion because I’ve realized it looks healthy and you know what? I’d rather look like Snow White than someone from Jersey Shore. My skin color is natural and normal for me. So you can go ahead and comment on it, but I’m just going to hold my freckled face high and laugh along with you. I’m pale and I’m proud of it.

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