April is more than halfway over, and whether the weather reflects it or not, summer is around the corner. People are already working towards perfecting their summer bods– for some, this entails working out, for others, this entails eating three square pizzas a day because their bodies are beautiful just the way they are. And for a lot of white and lighter-skinned people, this entails tanning. Tanning is okay, but what tanners don’t realize is that a new hue of skin is coming in style: the anti-tan.
Okay, so maybe it isn’t totally in style yet, but it’s bound to come back in style from the 18th century one of these years. At least, that’s what my radiating comrades and I keep hoping for.
Being pale has a lot of advantages! For example, I never need to bring a flashlight with me because my skin practically glows in the dark, and when I paint my face, the makeup stands out more, giving me a better bang for my buck. In fact, any color whatsoever really pops next to my skin. It’s also great when there’s a lot of natural light in photos because it completely washes out those pesky pores and facial features (like noses).
Anyway, if you want to be a trendsetter with the rest of us trailblazers, here’s a quick tutorial on how to achieve the perfect anti-tan.
*Disclaimer: The methods in this article are successful only if you are a white person, as the pale trend is specific towards Caucasians. (You can avoid the sun your entire life, but if you’re black, odds are you’ll never be pale, which is probably a good thing.)
Step 1: Be Irish.
This step is optional, and is only necessary if you really want that super ghostly pale complexion. Fair skin gives you a huge head start in the race to be ultra light and is only for those who want to go the extra pale mile.
Being Irish is also a great incentive for not tanning because you won’t be able to tan. Your options will be pale or red, and pale is far less painful than singing your skin.
Step 2: Care about the health of your skin.
In order to go full anti-tan, you need to give a hoot about not getting skin cancer. The sun provides a lot of nutrients for the human body, but white people need to be in the sun less than darker-skinned people because white skin absorbs the sun’s rays more readily. Therefore, in excess, the sun can be incredibly harmful to your skin. Tanning beds are also very damaging to your skin and wallet, so protecting your skin will save your flesh and your money.
If none of this concerns you, I highly recommend repeating Step 2 until you genuinely care about your skin health and future well-being. (Reminder: Although the future isn’t now, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen; I repeat, the future will happen, even if you can’t see it now.)
Step 3: Avoid the sun.
This step is probably the most shocking implication out of this whole list. Avoid the sun? Unthinkable! Alas, it must be done in order to become a full-fledged non-tanner. In addition to eluding all light, you can also opt to use adequate sun screen for those unavoidable outdoor ventures, like getting the mail or walking to your car. Personally, I dislike sun screen because it smells like a beach-side bathroom and it makes my skin greasy, but I will use it in the extreme case of being forced to leave the shelter of a shaded area or enclosed building.
If you just can’t quit the sun, wear a hat and fully cover your skin. You may think, “But then the sun won’t touch any of my skin and I won’t tan!” To which I reply, “Revisit Steps 2 and 3.”
Step 4: Don’t give up.
Don’t be discouraged if your skin isn’t immediately absolutely devoid of color like mine is. I’ve been working on this anti-tan for over a decade, so it can take some time and dedication, but I promise you, if you work hard, when you’re eighty, you may be able to look as pale and non-leathery and alive as an anti-tanner like me.