my hair is gone but I’m still a lady, dammit

I chopped all my hair off last week.

And no, it wasn’t some big, outrageous move in protest of societal gender stereotypes. I wasn’t trying to make a feminist statement about beauty standards. I’m not having an emotional breakdown or rebirth. I’m not even going to bore you with some rant about how my hair doesn’t have to symbolize my sexuality or whatever.

I just got tired of my long hair, that’s all.

I woke up one day, looked at the frizzy, limp locks resting lifelessly on my shoulders, and I was over it. I was sick of making the choice between letting my wavy, crazy strands stay loose and pulling them back into a messy top knot every morning. I was tired of the time it took to tame my mane into submission if, god forbid, I actually wanted straight hair on any given day. I was sick of washing it and drying it and shopping for hair products that I wanted to believe would do the impossible. So I got rid of it.

Well, most of it anyway. I made an appointment and strode into the salon with nothing but the idea that I wanted “short hair.” I felt empowered. I felt that, if I was going to do this at any time in my life, this was as good a time as any. I’m moving in two weeks, this would help signify my “fresh start.” (Okay, maybe there’s at least one goopy metaphor to be found in this experience, so sue me.) So I babbled my half-baked ideas to my stylist and hoped to god I was giving her a clear enough picture that I wouldn’t end up bald. And then I watched as my long, lifeless, pain-in-the-ass locks fell straight to the floor.

I felt okay about it, even as my stylist kept snipping and trimming and my hair kept getting shorter and shorter. I watched my face in the mirror, a smiled plastered on in fear that if I stopped, I wouldn’t feel okay anymore. I thought about all pretty braids and curls that would no longer adorn my head and my smile got weaker. I watched as the stylist dried my hair and it no longer tickled my neck or back, and my smile started to disappear. I got nervous. I haven’t had hair this short since I was a toddler. Would this still look good tomorrow, when I had nothing but my inept hands attempting to shape and smooth it? Would I end up looking like Peter Pan? Or (worse) a 40 year-old soccer mom? OH GOD, WHY DID I DO THIS?!

But it was over, and I walked out of the salon, my head so light I worried it would fly up off my body like a lost balloon. I checked my reflection in the mirror of a public restroom and barely recognized myself. But I didn’t look like Peter Pan. Or a soccer mom. I looked like me, with short hair. And I liked it.

And yeah, it’s taking some getting used to. I’m still learning what products to use and how to style it the right way. But I don’t feel like I’ve lost my sense of femininity. If anything, I think my self-confidence has already gotten a boost. I’m still a woman, but now I don’t have long hair to hide behind. I have to get used to a new “pretty” and that’s okay. My own beauty standards can be changed, and I’m glad I get the chance to do that. That’s the awesome thing about hair: what matters is ultimately that you own it and make it your own kind of beautiful.

I look at this haircut as a symbol of growth, as well as one adding a level of simplicity to my life. So I’m happy to be embracing the short hair, because five years ago, I never would have had the guts to do this. And that, my friends, is called “growing up.”

…I guess there were more metaphors in there than I thought. Shit.

free from the shackles of long, tangly hair

free from the shackles of long, tangly hair

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self-inflicted torture: adventures in jeans shopping

It is common knowledge among my close friends that I do not wear pants. Not only do I not wear them, I legitimately hate them. Most of my business casual work-appropriate outfits consist of skirts, tights, dresses, and leggings. The only pants I consistently approve of are yoga pants, which I probably wear far more often than I should, especially considering that they make me look like a soccer mom on her way to pilates. But I honestly think soccer moms might be on to something, because my ideal outfit is equal parts comfortable and cute, something that yoga pants are, and jeans and dress pants definitely are not. I feel restricted when I wear regular pants; I usually have to wear a belt which makes it worse, and the whole time I’m wearing them, all I can fantasize about is changing into leggings or yoga pants, with my legs all wrapped in stretchy, cottony comfort. When I’m wearing comfy pants, I feel moderately empowered because my legs are not imprisoned in a cage of thick/rough/stiff/uncomfortable material and I’m also not as worried about the lacy band at the top of my underwear making a surprise appearance anytime I need to bend over or make any unusual movements.

There was a time when I thought that jeans themselves were comfortable casual wear. As a teenager, my go-to outfit was jeans and a hooded sweatshirt — I was not a fashionable sixteen year-old. Then, when I became an adult and my daily wardrobe could no longer include jeans before 5:00pm, I abandoned them in favor of more comfortable options in the evenings: yoga pants, sweats, leggings with weird prints on them. That was the point of no return. I had found a new Pants God to worship, and it didn’t have zippers or buttons or a waistband that was too tight when I was on my period.

Lest this blog post sound like the mundane ramblings of a crotchety old woman, I would like to insert here that I have recently begun coming around to the idea of jeans again. This is partially because I like the concept of jeans more than their actual physical manifestation. I think they’re cute paired with any one of my many sweaters. I like them tucked into boots. I sometimes think they make my butt look good. But shopping for them and actually wearing them is a different story. However, the other day, as I began a giant (much overdue) purging of my closet, I discovered that I was in desperate need of a pair of jeans that actually fit me well. All of my pairs were too big around the waist, too short, or too bunchy around the ankles. And regardless of how infrequently I may actually reach for a pair of jeans when I get dressed in the morning, I decided that, as a 24 year-old semi-professional young woman, there was no excuse for me not to own at least one or two pairs of nice jeans that actually fit my ass.

So I did what any mature young lady in need of jeans would do: I enlisted the help of my friends. Because I can’t even decide when to pee without consulting my Google Calendar, I sent my friends Ellen and Kate an invitation that included the phrase “HELP ME FIND JEANS THAT ACTUALLY FIT ME,” and early* on a Friday morning, we set off into town in search of a pair of jeans that would hug my curves, not fall down, and not make my butt look flat. A noble, if somewhat frivolous mission.

Our first stop (after sucking down our morning doses of caffeine at the coffee shop) was The Gap, and as soon as we walked into the store, I was reminded why jeans shopping is so overwhelming: the vocabulary is ridiculous. “What are you looking for?” Ellen asked me. “I DON’T EVEN KNOW,” I cried out, exasperated, as I surveyed the stacks of denim surrounding me. The words listed around the store boasted a cut for every body type, but I didn’t know which one I was looking for. Sexy bootcut? Real straight? Skinny? Super skinny? Sexy boyfriend? It was like trying to order a latte at Starbucks, which, by the way, is one of the most overwhelming processes ever for an analytical control freak like me. I was reminded of that quote from Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail:

“The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.”

Except, in this case, you have to choose your cut (bootcut, skinny, straight), fit (regular, relaxed), wash (dark, light, fancy non-denim colored), size, and length (short, regular, long), and once you’ve done that, you have to try them all on under hideous fluorescent lights, while the fitting room attendant judges you for hauling ten pairs into the room with you because you don’t know what you want and you just want to make sure you’re trying on all the options available to you before you shell out $70 for a pair of pants, and, hopefully, reach that “absolutely defining sense of self.”

What’s worse is that every store decides it needs its own fancy terminology to describe its denim. So, after I tried on fifteen pairs in every size, length, and cut available at The Gap, we moved on. Each store we went into had a different selection, different names, and different sizing. I tried on regular lengths that were too short, and long lengths that were too long. I tried on bootcuts with too much flare at the bottom, I tried on boyfriend jeans that were too baggy in the butt, I even tried on skinny jeans with ugly rhinestones on the pockets. With each ill-fitting pair, I got more and more discouraged. But Ellen and Kate, being the committed, beautiful humans that they are, forged onward. Ellen marched around each store, throwing pair after pair over her arm, and running back and forth to the fitting room, pulling different sizes when something didn’t fit correctly. They told me how things really looked, instead of the way I perceived them to look after standing in multiple fitting rooms, sweaty from changing my clothes so many times, with messy hair and very little self-confidence left.

Eventually, we ended up at JC Penney. Discouraged, I reluctantly tried on a few picks from the juniors section and a couple random pairs from the misses section. Ellen, who at this point had thrown out all the rules and joined me in my little fitting room, was taking things off the hangers and handing them to me, then sorting them into piles based on how they fit.** All of a sudden, I had more jeans in my “maybe” pile than in my “no” pile, and I actually had to narrow down my options! I ended up with two pairs of dark wash jeans, approved by both Ellen and Kate, that fit well AND made my butt look good, and I honestly couldn’t tell you what the actual names of the jean styles are. I just know they fit, and I am the luckiest person in the world that I have two friends who were willing to dig through the skinnies and the bootcuts to help me find the ones that did.

So jeans shopping will probably always give me anxiety. I still don’t know what stores have the best fit for me or how I stumbled upon the couple pairs that I ended up buying, and the next time I go out, I’ll likely be just as clueless as this time. You also probably won’t see me wearing jeans more than a couple times a week (I still love my leggings and yoga pants), but it’s nice to know that my frazzled, sweaty, caffeine-fueled expedition was worth something.

Now just wait until I’m forced to go bra shopping. I’m sure that will yield some more great material.

* 9:00am is early when you work in residence life at a boarding school. Too early, probably, as Kate pointed out: “I don’t think I’ve ever been in town this early. Are the stores even open yet?”
** Because she’s an angel from heaven.

profile of a desperate single woman who lives in the woods with teenagers

I’ve never been a “dater.” I’ve always called myself a hopeless romantic, a lover of love, a believer in the power of relationships, but when it comes to actually going out on dates, meeting people, and just casually browsing this vast world for the person who “completes me” (so-to-speak), the very thought makes me want to hide beneath the huge pile of laundry in the corner of my bedroom.

I would rather sit at home alone on the weekend, watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix and eating Nutella with a spoon, than go out on a date with someone I barely know. As a notorious overthinker, the anxiety that plagues me from the moment the date is planned until its final seconds is something I just don’t want to deal with. There’s too much prep work involved, especially considering the slim chances that this person will actually end up being the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. There’s the research phase, trying to learn as much as possible about this person without knowing so much that you have nothing to talk to them about. Then there’s the panic that follows the research, when you discover the person is either too good for you or potentially not good enough. Then, since I’m a girl who buys into socially constructed gender stereotypes once she has caught the attention of any man ever, I need lots of time to plan out an outfit, decide the outfit makes me look like I’m trying too hard, plan another outfit, try on six more and text pictures to my friends to get their input on whether my cleavage is “tasteful” or not, decide on a makeup scheme that makes me look subtle and somewhat natural, shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows, and starve myself, not because I want to lose weight before my date, but because I have so much anxiety bubbling in my stomach that I physically can’t force anything down my throat. And all of these stressful activities occur before I’ve actually gone on the date. The date is a whole different beast. A constant stream of self-analysis is running through my head, and it’s so distracting that I’m probably not even noticing how cool and nice this guy could actually be. He could open doors for me, compliment my dress, and listen attentively as I blather on and on about my weird job, and I would still be focused on the fact that the shoes I picked are too high or worrying about whether ordering a salad for dinner will make me seem like a shallow, insecure idiot. Dates suck, ok? They just do. I want to skip ahead to when I’m comfortable enough with someone that I can wear jeans and a v-neck, and we’ll go to a pizza place and split the bill. I want the comfort and familiarity of a relationship without going through the hard work of meeting someone and learning all about them. I’m too lazy to date.

Recently, one of my friends suggested that we try online dating this school year. First, I laughed at her because I thought she was kidding. Then, when I realized she was dead serious, I immediately shot the idea down. What could I possibly have to gain from online dating? What men are going to want to date me when my home is in a boarding school residence hall? Why would I put myself through the hell of dating anxiety when I probably won’t be living here a year from now? Even worse, what if I do meet someone I’m legitimately interested in and then I have to move across the country in June? I came up with every excuse in the book to explain why online dating would be a nightmare for me. But my friend simply countered that with, “It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it could be fun!”

Then I realized I was being a complete asshole about it. Online dating is what people do now. Without taking into consideration my main fear of going on a date with an axe murderer (which is very real because I’ve watched enough Dexter to know that you can’t trust anybody anymore), it seems like a relatively low-risk way to meet somebody new. Sure, I don’t flirt well and I don’t date because it makes me want to throw up. I apparently just sit and wait for my knight in shining armor (or Jim Halpert in a white button-down, rather) to come find me and sweep me off my feet, which I’ve finally realized is completely ridiculous and the opposite of everything my feminist mother taught me as a young girl. I was raised to disapprove of the Disney princesses who sang melancholy songs and waited for a prince to save them. I was told real women find their own way in life and love, and they don’t need men to be their saviors. Well, I guess that’s a concept I need to reacquaint myself with.

Whether I will actually attempt online dating remains to be seen, because I still get that pukey feeling in my stomach whenever I think about going out with someone I’ve never met in person, and I am also really afraid of filling out an online dating profile. How much do you reveal about yourself on those things, anyway? I don’t want to end up being a huge disappointment to a guy who reads my watered down biography online and assumes I’m super cool, but I also don’t want to “undersell” myself like a high school kid with low self-esteem. They should teach you this kind of stuff in school. Five paragraph essays? Those are useless once you have your diploma. How to find the area of a trapezoid? COME ON. I now feel cheated by the public school system because for some reason I remember how to conjugate most Latin verbs but I don’t know how to catch myself a fella on OkCupid. If I were to fill out a profile right this moment, it would probably read something like this:

I am 24 year-old who works in residence life at an arts boarding school. When I’m not mentoring/mothering/wrangling the teenagers who live in my building, I enjoy binge-watching TV shows on Netflix, hiding out at coffeeshops, and making playlists on Spotify. I studied vocal music and education as an undergrad student, but eventually gave up that dream and now aspire to join an even less fruitful arts discipline by becoming a writer. I have restarted the second book of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire three times and haven’t gotten past page 70 yet, but I watched all three seasons of Game of Thrones in less than a week. I own an ice cube tray shaped like little penguins. I post on Twitter and Instagram far too often. I am mediocre at playing the guitar and piano, but probably above average at the ukulele. I watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended edition, duh) at least twice a year and yes, I dressed up for the midnight premiere of the first Hobbit film. I enjoy colored felt-tip pens and three-hole-punching documents. I can run 4 miles without stopping but I am slower than molasses. My favorite Bob Dylan album is Highway 61 Revisited and I am very glad he decided to include the acoustic version of “Desolation Row” as the final track.

Would you date me after reading that? It’s ridiculous, I know. But I guess the bottom line is, if I ever do try to meet my soulmate online, they’d better be okay with all of the things listed above, even if I don’t go into this much detail in my actual profile.

…I should also probably get somebody to write my profile for me.

I have big boobs and I’m not afraid to use them (sometimes)

I’ve considered breaching this topic a couple of times now, but held back because A) I didn’t feel like I had any fully-formed thoughts save for a few small, internal rants that would reappear inside my head every time I wandered into the lingerie section of any department store, and B) I assumed no one would really want to read about some girl’s bra shopping frustrations. But, after spending the past few days preparing for my family’s upcoming trip to the Gulf Coast, shopping for flip flops, sunscreen, and the ever dreaded swimsuit, I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and word vomit all over y’all about a subject very near and dear to me (quite literally). So read on, dear readers who I hope will still want to be my friends after you finish reading this post, if you care to learn anything and everything about my boobs.

I’ve had a large chest for as long as I can remember. After I hit puberty and finally started wearing “real” bras (not those weird cotton ones that are basically just half of a tank top and given to young girls who wish they could wear a bra but can’t, so they just kind of fake it), my breasts kept growing. Even after most of my teenage friends reached a plateau (ha) in their boob growth, mine seemed like they were moody teenagers who basically looked around at what everyone else was doing, flashed a proverbial middle finger, shouted “GO BIG OR GO HOME, BITCHES!” and just kept on truckin’. By the time I hit college, I had accepted that the size of my chest was my literal and metaphorical burden to bear. These boobs were my Mount Everest(s). (I didn’t realize when I started this post how many great boob puns would come out of it. Score.)

But while I accepted the burden and all the frustrations that came along with it — having to buy shirts a size bigger than normal just to accommodate the size of my chest, leaving the lingerie store feeling defeated after trying on nine different styles of bras that all did not fit correctly, never being able to wear strapless dresses without employing some kind of wizardry, etc. — I never truly embraced the curves I was given. My flat-chested friends told me how envious they were of me. Friends who also had big boobs sympathized with my frustrations. But many of them alike told me to “show it all off,” to wear dresses that displayed how well-endowed I was on top, that I would at least get some looks and maybe a couple free drinks out of it. This idea made me anxious and insecure, and any time I wore a low-cut item of clothing, I felt completely out of my comfort zone. I wore tank tops underneath my more revealing dresses, and it took me awhile to get up the courage to wear v-neck shirts. I was convinced that things that looked “normal” on other girls with “normal” sized breasts would end up looking slutty on me. Sure, women all over the place wore tube tops or push-up bras to show off what they had, but when I did it, I didn’t feel sexy, I felt like I was selling myself.

I won’t go into a full discussion on the following topic, since it’s a different subject for another time, but I couldn’t write this post without at least addressing it. I think it’s easy for women not to embrace their bodies or play up their good features and allow themselves to feel sexy because we put so much emphasis on how others perceive the way we dress. Sure, maybe there are women out there who only dress for themselves, for the way their clothes make them feel, but how many times have you heard the phrase “dress to impress”? How often do we ask for other people’s opinions on our outfits? We want affirmation from the outside that we look good. And women who do play up their good features, their boobs or their butts or their legs, and dress to feel good about themselves, are labeled for that. But since when did self-confidence equal sluttiness? How does the neckline of a woman’s shirt or the length of her skirt have anything to do with her own sexual promiscuity? This notion was obviously even at the back of my mind, a self-proclaimed progressive feminist, as I tried to hide my chest under extra layers.

Today, however, when I was out picking up a few things for my vacation (sidenote: who can ever have enough travel-sized toiletries? I spent at least 20 minutes in that aisle perusing the tiny bottles of shampoo…), I decided on a whim to try on a cute black swimsuit that caught my eye. I had already purchased a new, relatively modest — meaning that it straps the girls in pretty well — swimsuit for the trip using a good chunk of one of my spring paychecks…and I think I probably promised my firstborn child in exchange for it as well. This swimsuit was expensive, much more than I would usually consider spending on something I won’t wear every day of my life, but it was cute and had a tiny little adorable floral print on it, and if you know me, you’ll understand why I could justify selling my soul for a swimsuit because of the print. Anyway, given how expensive this first swimsuit was, I decided it would probably be good to have a cheaper backup suit, just in case the cute floral one got tragically left behind somewhere or set on fire or eaten by a sea monster or something. (I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones. Knowing my family, it’s more likely someone will spill wine on it and I’ll never get the wine smell out.)

Like any typical, self-loathing woman, I detest swimsuit shopping. Scratch that, I hate trying clothes on at all. I think the combination of the dressing room lights, mirrors, and my tendency to find my own flaws makes for an extremely unpleasant experience no matter what the garment is. So when I entered the fitting room, I was not expecting success. I was expecting, at best, to leave the room not crying, but thinking eh, close but no cigar. It’s a wonder I even got up the lady balls to walk in there in the first place, but I did, and I when I tried on the swimsuit, my first thought upon looking in the mirror was . . . my boobs look hot in this. Not wow, my boobs look terrible. Not you look like a dirty whore in this suit. Not even oh dear god, how will you ever live with yourself if you let the rest of the world see you in this swimsuit? I looked at myself and felt good. Attractive. Maybe even sexy, although it was pretty hot outside and my eyeliner was starting to melt, so that kind of killed the overall look. Regardless, I didn’t feel like my usual fitting room pile of crap; in fact, I felt like quite the opposite, and that was big. Let me elaborate by saying this style of swimsuit is one I never would have seen in a magazine and said, “Yes, uh huh, that would look great on me, specifically my enormous boobs.” It’s the kind with a chest section that is basically two triangles of fabric and thick straps that tie behind your neck. It is what I would call a Cleavage Galore suit, and it’s the most revealing swimsuit I’ve ever worn.

So I bought it.

I bought it because sometimes the only way to feel empowered about your body is to empower yourself. This swimsuit for me was a tangible representation of finally starting to own and embrace a part of my body that I’ve been hiding for most of my adult life. I’m not going to let myself be afraid of showing a little skin sometimes. No, I’m not going to go all Real Housewives of New Jersey all of a sudden and start wearing tight, cleavage-displaying leopard print tops on a daily basis — I obviously know how to dress modestly for the workplace, and I still like feeling comfortable in my baggy sweaters and flannel on the weekends. But I’m going to be less afraid of feeling sexy and letting my boobs look good. And okay, I realize this swimsuit isn’t going to change my entire self image in one day. I mean, I’m really only going to be wearing it on a low traffic beach in Florida for a week, but I’m going to wear it and know that doing so does not make me a slut. This is a big step for me and my boobs, and I think it’s (finally!) going to be the start of a beautiful friendship.

I get by with a little help from my friends and a fancy pair of underwear

When it comes to fashion, I like to divide my life into two eras: before I discovered lacy underwear and after.

It took me most of my adolescence to finally learn how to dress myself. I was not a fashionable teenager/young adult — I preferred comfort over looking cute. By the time I entered my twenties, I finally started discovering how much I loved wearing skirts, dresses, leggings, and tights, and my wardrobe transformed dramatically. (Somewhere around this time, my hatred for pants began to grow, and now I only wear them if: A. I am in desperate need of clean laundry, B. it is too cold outside to wear tights, or C. it is appropriate for me to wear my favorite comfy pair of Gap jeans.) I also fell in love with boots, comfy, oversized sweaters, and v-neck t-shirts. I filled my closet with things that fit me, and I learned to shop the clearance racks like a boss. I became obsessed with clothing.

It’s going to sound cliche, but I do like how confident I feel when I wear clothes that I think are cute and that I feel good in. My mood is lifted and I feel less self-conscious about myself. I think this all stems from something my best friend Katie taught me a few years ago. I call it the Underwear Philosophy.

The Underwear Philosophy is simple. Katie claims that fancy underwear gives you special powers. It makes you more confident, even though no one else necessarily knows you’re wearing it (unless you were to publicly declare it, for some unknowable reason). She says just knowing you’re wearing it makes you Superwoman. You don’t have to wear it for anyone besides yourself, or for any specific reason. In fact, sometimes the days you need to wear it the most are the days when you don’t have time to shower, or you have a miserable cold, or your self-esteem is at rock bottom and you don’t feel like wearing anything fancy. Also, because at the time of her assertion I was quite unhappily single, Katie claimed these fancy underpants would give me the feminine prowess necessary to snag myself a man. She was so adamant that I begin wearing cute, fancy, lacy underwear that she even offered to buy some for me. I was hesitant because I wasn’t convinced by her crazy talk, and also, Victoria’s Secret underwear is practically twice the price of the cheap cotton underwear I had been buying for most of my life.

Nevertheless, I let her talk me into buying some relatively inexpensive lace underwear. And, much to my surprise (and somewhat to my dismay), I discovered she was right. I know it’s all psychological, but whenever I was wearing my cute, magenta lace underwear, I felt braver and more in control of my own destiny. And okay, my brand new undergarments didn’t subconsciously attract any Prince Charmings, but I was willing to overlook that fact because I legitimately enjoyed wearing them. These were magic underwear, Katie was right.

I’m glad I followed Katie’s advice, because I think that now, I pay much more attention to the things I wear and how they make me feel. My underwear drawer now contains many more pretty items than it used to, and I only wear my lame cotton Hanes pairs when I’m running low on laundry. The Underwear Philosophy definitely altered my perspective on fashion and self confidence.

So congrats, Katie, if you’re reading this. You win, and now you also have the satisfaction of inspiring one of my blog posts. 😉

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.