I realize I’m pale…but you don’t have to laugh.


Sometimes I wonder WHO RAISED THESE PEOPLE!?! I was raised in a home where you don’t go around commenting on another person’s appearance unless it’s sounds like –  You look nice today or I would kill to be as thin as you or Oh I’m sorry I keep getting you confused with Heidi Klum. That is why I was taken back when my co-worker commented on the color of my skin.  

Now if I were tan, I would have had a different reaction to my co-worker’s comment because today, EVERYONE is in a hot pursuit for a tan. They even spend a lot of money creating the illusion of tan with bronzers and spray tans. It is then an extreme compliment when someone comments on your sun-kissed skin. However, since I’m on the ghostly white side, her comment seemed mean-spirited.

It was the first time I had actually been brave enough to bare my legs at work. I wore a pair of capri pants, so really only the bottom half of my legs were exposed. I even rubbed a little bronzing lotion on them before I left the house. It was mid morning when I headed away from my desk and toward the restroom. I could hear someone walking behind me so I turned and saw that it was my co-worker. I said hi to which she responded, WOW girl! You need to get some sun on those legs of yours. Immediately, I could feel my cheeks warming in embarrassment as I politely smiled and then turned around and continued to walk toward the restroom. During our entire walk to the restroom, I could hear her behind me laughing. It seemed she was not yet done mocking my fair skin. I couldn’t wait to get into the bathroom and away from her. Once the restroom door was in sight, I walked faster, hoping to get far enough ahead that I could slam it in her face. Unfortunately when I reached the door, all I could hear was my mom’s favorite saying playing in my head, Kill em with kindness.  I then waited and held the door so that she could enter the restroom first.

I still get a little anxiety when I expose any leg while at work. I keep waiting for the suntan police officer that is my co-worker to jump out and laugh at my UV-challenged skin. I still wonder why she felt it necessary to point out a fact that I’ve known all my life. YES, I’m pale, but NO, I don’t need a reminder of that every time I bare my legs in public. It’s not like I go around pointing and laughing at the mom jeans she insists on wearing each casual Friday by saying, WOW, I’ve never seen an ass so flat or a crotch so long.  Comments like the one from my co-worker (aka Captain Long Crotch) reiterate to me that my pale legs are still not seen as attractive by most. It also makes me think that instead of useless high school classes like home economics and ceramics, they should teach classes like TACT 101 and How NOT to be a Douche 202.  And it also reminds me that investing in bronzers and the occasional spray tan is not done in vein. Instead it’s a mandatory measure to take in order to defend myself from a world full of tactless sun worshippers.

Please don’t laugh…it’s just my genetic makeup

13 thoughts on “I realize I’m pale…but you don’t have to laugh.

  1. I confidently strut my pale legs whenever I get the chance. She probably has crows-feet, which is something you’ll never had.

    Keep it real, sister.

  2. Forget the haters… and embrace your paleness. I’m even paler than you and I went through hell in school because of this crazy fake-tan worshipping society we’re living in.

    The craziest part is that in Asia they don’t sell fake tanners, but whiteners – because over there it’s seen as more beautiful to be pale.

    (I’m convinced it’s a super duper evil plan by the cosmetic companies to make the pale folk think they need to buy fake tan, and the darker skinned folk think they need to buy whiteners… all while they roll in the cash and laugh… grr)

    (this topic always makes me want to rant, sorry)

  3. Jennifer, I completely agree with you. It’s another example of “someone” telling us what we want and how we want to look for a price! This tanning business is out of hand! thanks for the comment. pale gurl pride!

  4. It might help to remember that there are still quite a few people who not only think ‘healthy tan’ is an oxymoron, but who wrestle unsuccessfully with ‘attractive tan’ as well.

    As a male, I admit that a shapely pair of legs of any hue can catch my eye, but in my case there is no doubt whatsoever that if I suddenly realize I’ve been staring and forgetting to breathe, that shade is lily.

    It’s a marvelous world, where diversity of color walks hand in hand with diversity of preference.

  5. i hate to say this BUT i’m the most pale kid at my high school. i get reminded everyday in summer / whenever im not wearing pants that i NEED a tan, people even get me fake tan crap for my birthday! i get really self-consious at times but now im getting better, tending not caring what people say, more like making a joke about it.

    thank you jennifer.
    you’ve made my day, realising that being pale is apart of me.

  6. I prefer being pale. I think pale is a rare beauty these days; sense everyone is caught up with trying to die of cancer.
    I would strut your pale beauty! Especiall with colors that compliment your tone! While “her” skin becomes wrinkley with cancer spots, yours will be healthy and smooth. ;) woohoo!

  7. Hi i’m 16 and have just left school, i live in britian and it’s not really that sun here. Everybody at my school also used fake tan so because i didn’t i got called ghost and casper. I think you should wear what you like and the other person was probly jealous of how skinny your legs are. I know what it’s like to have that reaction thou because on my first day of college a girl turn around to see me standing there and here first words to me were omg how pale are you. You should have the same pride in your body, as she has in hers no matter what colour you are.

  8. “WOW, I’ve never seen an ass so flat or a crotch so long.”

    I laughed so hard when I read that. Well played.

    I came across your blog by googling “pale actresses” in an effort to make myself feel better. I thought, surely I’m not alone..look..there’s so and so, she’s pale, awesome and gorgeous. I don’t think people realize that it hurts your feelings to be told “Man, you’re pale. You’re going to have to get a spray tan if you want to wear that dress.” I want to tell myself pale is sexy, but it’s so hard when society (and your coworkers) tell you otherwise.

    Thanks for blogging and helping the rest of us realize we’re pretty. Strength in numbers.

  9. Hey there BEAUTIFUL,

    If those are your legs in the picture, then dayum girl you’ve got some good legs! I love pale, I think it’s so pretty. Captain Long Crotch is obviously very insecure…probably something to do with the ass issue.

    Have you seen/read Twilight? The lady that wrote those books is really pale and wrote them all about pale people to show the world that pale is beautiful ^.^

  10. I’m white too. So white that I cannot get makeup from stores, have to order it online. White skin is beautiful, elegant and exotic :).
    What amazes me is, that I live in the traditional habitat of the whitest of the white people and still am unable to buy fair enough foundation. What the hell has happened, why should I want to look orange, red or yellow – why can I not have any products for my beautiful white skin?
    Lately I have started to emphasize my whiteness – white skin in deep red dress – absolutely stunning :D

  11. As a girl that reigned second in paleness to the beautiful albino girl in highschool, I was mocked and ridiculed for my porcelain skin as well. I used to hate it for the longest time and would dread going back to classes from summer and spring break because, even though I had been going to school with the same people for many years, they still felt it necessary to bring my tanlessness up. No matter how hard I tried to tan I just couldn’t gain any color but red, and the lobster look has never been in fashion. I would go to the makeup counter and women would try and put bronzer on me only to find out that it didn’t make me look sun kissed. On the contrary I looked like I had rubbed dirt on my face. Self tanner just looked fake and wrong.

    I don’t know when it happened but I finally realized that my fair skin was wonderful and something that made me unique.

    As I’ve grown older I have begun to accept and love my pale skin. Although I still have tan culture thrown in my face I reject it and wear my spf every day of the year, encouraged by the fact that I will be nearly wrinkle free in the coming years. And really, is melanoma ever en vogue?

    I sympathize with your hesitance at showing your legs. It’s hard but something that no be matter how hard you try, you will never be able to change it. Instead of trying to change yourself, take care of your beautiful skin. Wear sunscreen and wear things that highlight the fact that your skin is fair lovely.

    Pale is beautiful!

  12. Back in college there was a young woman who for four years continued to tease me about my flat chest; I was very petite with an athletic build. While most folks gained the freshman 15, I maintained my weight up until almost graduation by eating healthy, working out, and taking care of myself. Being of Asian descent from a culture that is known for its petite people (Vietnamese), I could never wrap my head around her nastiness other then pure envy. After all the years of making fun of my physical slenderness – which many probably would ‘die’ for – I warned her one evening not to continue teasing me (enough was enough)… she went on… and on… finally, I looked her in the eye and firmly said, “I’d rather be flat then a fat ass like you. At least I can’t help but be flat; you, however, can and yet you look like that….” Oh yes, she bursted in tears to which I replied with apathy, “too bad; you’ve been making fun of me since day one and honestly, what a bunch of crap! get over yourself and get over it!” I felt no remorse.

    swatson

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