Sometimes people ask me what I think is my most distinctive feature. Well, wonder no more–my signature “look,” is, of course, my characteristic ghoul-like pallor. My natural skin tone is roughly the same shade as a glass of milk that has been mixed with bleach, sprinkled with flour, dyed white, and, for good measure, turned into a ghost.
While I have more or less accepted this fact at this point in my life, something about the summer season always makes my pale skin seem that much more…pale. If you’re pale too, you’ll understand these 18 summer struggles:
1. Sunburn. So. Much. Sunburn.
When the sun beams down on your pale, tender, lily-white skin, it’s cool because you aren’t white anymore. You’re pink. Or red.
2. You can’t wear any sunscreen lower than AT LEAST SPF 45.
And you still get burned. How do your friends do it with the SPF 15? How?!?
3. If you do manage to “tan,” it just means that your skin tone adjusts from “sheet-white” to “possible living human being.”
Once I spent about three weeks in Israel and was very proud that I managed to attain what I thought was my best tan yet. At the end, my friend turned to me and said, “Hey, when we started this trip you were, like, super pale. Now, you look normal!”
4. Or, you get so many freckles, but you’re still so pale. How?!
5. If you have dark hair, you never try for the Morticia Addams look when you attempt to dress up. It just sort of happens.
Which, for whatever reason, is usually not the look people go for when they go to a barbecue.
6. You try to wear a white bathing suit, because you think it’ll make your skin look tan by contrast…
7. But it blends into your skin. So you just look naked.
8. You have been trained to hunt for shade everywhere you go.
When I was little, my mom used to tell me to “run to the shade” anytime I was outside. And now, much like Pavlov’s dog, whenever the sun beams down on me, I trot to the nearest tree as fast as my stumpy little legs can carry me.
9. You set a timer for sunscreen re-ups.
If it doesn’t happen every hour, you’re a goner.
10. Which means that your friends resent you the whole summer because they are responsible for getting your hard-to-reach areas.
My neck, my back…
11. If you try to be cute and read on the beach you have to put on a cover-up, a t-shirt, and wrap yourself up in like 5 towels to be fully shielded.
12. Every time you’re in a car, the side of your body that’s facing the window gets nice and pink.
Ah, who doesn’t love that always-chic “50% sunburned” look?
13. You gaze at pictures of similarly pale celebrities on the beach for inspiration.
How do you do it and survive, Zooey Deschanel? HOW??
14. You find yourself getting…creative with hats.
A bucket hat? A literal bucket? Sure, whatever it takes.
15. If you see a poster for a scary movie with ghosts, your friends think it’s funny to say, “Hey, it’s you!!”
16. You find yourself cursing the ancestors from whom you inherited your once-coveted “pale as the driven snow” skin.
YOU DID THIS TO ME, Great-Auntie Zrinka!!!
17. By the end of the summer, you’ve gone through roughly 1,874 things of sunscreen.
18. And 576 things of aloe vera, because SOMEHOW YOU STILL GOT BURNED.
Stay vigilant, my friends.
Are you pale? What do you do to deal with it in the summer? Let us know in the comments below!