I’m a blend of German Irish heritage. You know what that means? I have camouflage abilities that are most suited for Polar Regions. As a youngster, I was blessed with the most delightful smattering of freckles that I then, of course, hated. What I would give to have those damn freckles back! I always envied my naturally bronzed friends and would frequent a tanning salon with dreams of one day, having that all over golden look. When article upon article started to surface about the terrors of tanning beds, I convinced myself they were just conspiracy theories and continued fake baking. It wasn’t until my uncle got a serious case of melanoma that cost a pretty penny for surgery did I start to listen. (Just an FYI, the articles and various medical studies are not conspiracy theories. Please take them far more seriously than I did.) This really got me thinking. My originally perceived “ideal” appearance wasn’t worth putting my health at serious risk or worth a years worth of tuition. Instead of bed tanning, I decided to pursue an entirely different avenue of tanning possibilities and I found myself in front of the drug store’s selection of self-tanners. I. Have. Tried. Them. All. Seriously, I have. I’ve read review after review in search of a streak-less, smell-less concoction that would turn my alabaster to any shade of bronze. But alas, they all have had their pitfalls! They might not smell bad, but they washed off instantly. They might go on streak-less, but I’d be a ghastly shade of orange. No matter my conviction and determination to uncover this mythical perfect self-tanner, it was always evident that I was using a self-tanner, and that is the exact opposite reaction you hope to have.
So I went off the stuff.
Trust me when I say it was difficult. I had become so accustomed to a semi-darker completion that when I saw it as it really is (after several showers), I was appalled. I have nice skin. Granted, I’m bruised and scratched up from several years of reckless exploring and overall klutziness, but that’s just because my skin has got some serious personality. And that’s how I like it. Even though we are so accustomed to the norms of beauty, or as I like to call them the Triple T’s (tall, thin, tan), I realized this doesn’t apply to me. Sure, there are some things you can change about yourself. You can dye your hair, put on makeup, change your clothes… These things are great additions or frills (I do all three), but they do not provide your body with protection like your skin can. Your skin is all encompassing and has been with you since day one. That isn’t something to take lightly. Never thought about it like that, did ya? Neither had I until I started seeing more and more of the women who I consider role models embracing their epidermis. It’s empowering to take a stand and be unconventional especially when it is something that holds you all together. So think about it. Can you come to terms with your translucency?