Anyone who knows me knows I am obsessed with being tanned. But I’ve a big fear of tanning beds so my skin colour comes out of a bottle. I would regularly tan myself – maybe once or twice a week depending on the tan and how busy my week is. I have more foundations suited for tanned me than I do for pale me. I actually noticed as I started this personal challenge that the only pale foundations I actually own are my super pale shades for my Joker and Harley Quinn cosplays.
I decided that I would do a small personal challenge and not wear tan for one week. I’ve got to say it was pretty tough, as shallow as that sounds. Obviously the first few days were the hardest and I’m lucky I didn’t have any major events because I don’t know how I would have handled being pale at a big social occasion.
Day 1, Saturday
Every last remain of my tan from previous weekend has been scrubbed off and I am back to my natural skin colour, ghostly white. After my shower this morning, I went downstairs to get a cup of tea and say morning to my family. But the first thing my mother asks me was if I was feeling okay. To be fair, this isn’t a weird question as she normally asks if I’m sick once the tan wears off my face which leaves me looking drastically paler than my still tanned body (my face and hands are the parts of my body the tan is most likely to wash off fastest.)
My family weren’t too bad, it was actually meeting up with a friend, Becca, I noticed what a drastic difference pale me is to tanned me. Before I met her, I decided to see if I knew how to contour my face while being pale. Somehow, I managed to apply a decent face of make-up! So when I went to a cafe to meet my gal pal, I was feeling pretty confident (even though I still wore an outfit that might distract from my paleness.) When I met her, it took her about 30 seconds to register it was me – Becca had only ever seen me tanned and never ever this pale. She told me that she honestly didn’t think it was me when she saw me coming through the door! That was a big thing to me – I was really hiding behind my tan.
Day 2, Sunday
I really didn’t do much on Sunday bar clean the house and have a rest before a busy week ahead. I did like waking up though and not having a trace of tan on my pillows, no tan rubbing off my white fluffy towels and best of all was not seeing a single dodgy tan splotch on my skin. I really need Sunday to appreciate being tan-free. I even ventured outside my house for a little to play with my cat in the driveway, but of course, someone had to say something! A good neighbour of mine who is my area’s fountain of knowledge was happily chatting to me and his dog was jumping up and down giving me loads of puppy kisses. It was as he left to continue his walk he said “And I hope you feel better, you’re awfully pale.” Really?! I see this man once a week but I never thought he would make a comment on my paleness! I can’t lie, i was starting to feel self-conscious.
Day 3, Monday
First day in the office being tan free – and make-up free too as I never really wear make-up at work. None of the girls said a word, no one said I looked sick (thank God), no one really cared about my appearance at all. Sweet relief! I survived a day with no one passing comment on my skin colour. I felt pretty happy and after my working day, I headed over to the gym for a quick session to amp up my good vibes.
I hadn’t been to the gym in an embarrassingly long time (a solid seven months, I’m not a gym head at all, I’m a McDonalds head) but my old trainer recognised me and said I was looking good – but you’re worst critic is you. After a bit of cardio, I headed over to the weights to finish off, and that’s when I saw myself in the mirror. “Who let Mr Krabs into the gym?” I thought to myself. While I hadn’t gone to the gym in ages, I still worked out at home and a lot harder, so I was really shocked to see how red my face was after some easy work outs. I knew my tan hid some of my red face after working out but I was so surprised how much it hid!
Day 4 – 5, Tuesday and Wednesday
I put these two days together because nothing substantial happened and I didn’t care about being pale at this point. I still woke up every day, hopped on a bus to work then went home after and did my bits at home. No one commented on anything, no one cared. Unlike the other days, I didn’t leave my house after work but that definitely helped me care less about not wearing tan.
Day 6, Thursday
Today was the very first day I didn’t give a f*** about being pale. I had an event to go to for work and thought I’d care more about my appearance because I was representing a brand, not me. Fortunately, it was a very relaxed event and being pale was not a worry, even though I probably glowed in the dark. People we’ve worked with before who had only ever seen me tan didn’t say a word, no one asked if I was sick and I didn’t mind people saying my freckles were “cute.”
When I started this little personal challenge, I really did think that a work event was going to make me or break me – and it didn’t break me!
Day 7, Friday
The final day of no tan was honestly such a relief. I learned I was happy to go without tan but it’s a little thing I do that makes me feel better. Just like why I wear make-up, I also wear tan for me. A slightly darker skin tone for me makes me feel more confident.
So when the day was over and I was getting ready to sleep, I lathered on the tan – and it felt amazing. People complain about a lot of people being “fake” these days – fake hair, fake nails, fake tan, fake lashes. But sure if it makes you happy, you do what you want to do.
It was a silly little challenge at the start that I didn’t take too seriously, but I discovered how much I rely on products that later my appearance – and how much I like them. I’ve talked before about why I wear make-up and why I enjoy SFX make-up so much, so I won’t go into detail. But I love being able to change my look. It’s about a month since I completed this little personal challenge and I’m glad I did it because I don’t feel so self-conscious not wearing tan. I’m more inclined to go a week without tan but I would still rather wear a bit of fake tan!