Tan culture changes image of beauty, affects self esteem

Jordan Huesers, Features Editor

“Do you disappear when you stand against a white wall?”

Yes, as a matter of fact, that is exactly what happens.

Thanks for asking — again.

I am pale.

I’ve always been that way.

I don’t worry about spending a ton of money on tanning salons or going to the beach as much as I can.

I get out in the sun just as much as anyone, but my skin never turns that “beautiful shade of bronze.”

It’s amusing, really, when people find themselves so concerned with why my skin isn’t as dark as theirs.

Why would it matter to anyone?

Especially uplifting are the friends who complain about how pale they are.

They stare at their skin and go on about how disgusting it is and how they hate the way they look.

They don’t mean to knock down my confidence or self image, I know.

But I am left thinking, “Wow, obviously they must think I look awful.”

Telling me I am pale is like telling me it’s my birthday.

It’s nothing I don’t already know.

Believe it or not, I have seen myself in the mirror before — I am aware of what I look like. I’ve lived my entire life with this skin tone.

I know which colors I can wear, and which colors wash me out, and, let’s be honest, are most of them.

I know when someone holds their arm against mine to see who is more tan, I will lose.

That is just the way I am.

I don’t have anything against anyone who tans.

I’m not trying to say you’re going to get skin cancer and die while I live on, pasty and healthy.

See, clearly, I’m not bitter at all.

Everyone is beautiful in their own way.

What about celebrities Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson and Taylor Swift?

They embrace their pale skin tone — it is a huge part of what makes them beautiful.

These women own who they are.

Everyone is different.

Appreciate it, but most importantly, respect it.