Summer According to Pale Girls

Ah, summer.  Just as the first rays of sunshine begin to penetrate the clouds and the rain gives way to rainbows, you can almost hear the sound of those hardcore tanners sprinting to the bathroom for a bottle of spray on oil and their barely there bikini.  Complete with a towel and a supersized pair of sunnies, they can lay in the sun for hours moving only to rotate like a chicken on a spit in order to make sure their body is evenly bronzed.  They soak up the sun like my skin does moisturiser after a night out, begging for every last drop of Vitamin D until they retreat to their bedroom to slap on the aftersun with added shimmer for a Beyonce glow as I’m sat under a parasol donning a long sleeved kaftan and slapping on the factor 75 before I even deign to venture out from underneath my safety brolly.

That’s right ladies, I belong to the pale girls club.  I’m infamously transparent and the most I gain from the sunshine is another smattering of freckles to my forehead and shoulders.  It’s funny to think that people say that having freckles means that the sun loves you or you’ve been kissed by the sun or some made up bullshit to make pale people feel special.  Lets get this right, the sun does not love us.  The sun hates us, we repel the sun, the sun makes us its bitch yet each year we try in vain to win the suns affections.. to no avail.

Lets talk about what summer REALLY means to us pale gals, hey?

It’s summer, lets crack out the brighty whiteys because they look so good.  WRONG, they look good IF you’ve got a tan.  If you’re pale the only thing “summery whites” is going to do for you is make you look like Carrigan from Caspar as a ghost.  Or if you’re me, his uncle Fatso.

After a year long search of FINALLY finding the perfect pale foundation shade that matches your transparent skin, the appearance of the sun and that influx of freckles gives you the teeniest weeniest hint of colour and you’re back to the drawing board.  Such fun searching for MINUS COLOUR + 1. Nahhht.


There’s always one smart guy who like to point out just how pale you are, as though you’ve never noticed it.  “Been in the sun have you?” so they they ask while chuckling, “what’s that stuff you’re putting on there?” they say as you coat your arms in factor a billion “mayonnaise? Emulsion paint?”  Hilarious wise guy, move along.
Do you ever (against your better judgement) try out that sun bathing lark?  It seems quite relaxing, doesn’t take much effort, you have a nice cool beer to accompany you… yeah this is nice.  You begin to feel a bit sweaty, nevermind, it is pretty hot.  More beer.  Ahhhhh.  Wait, what’s that feeling?  A tingle.  Hmmm, so this is tanning?  Not so bad.  OH NO, the pain!  This isn’t tanning, this is the first stages of heat rash.  IT ITCHES.  ITS BUMPY.  Can’t.  Stop.  Itching.
Pass me the Eurax and some antihistamines.
Those impromptu moments you do spend in the sun where you’re sans le sun cream and you find yourself “catching the sun”?  You turn an offensive shade of red after only 5 minutes, develop a heat patch you could fry eggs only for the potential tan to fade overnight and you begin to resemble a snake shedding its skin after a couple of days.  Sexy.

Where my pale girls at?  Do you feel my pain?

  • Mate this is my life. The only way something resembling a tan happens on my body is when the freckles join together in a little brown patch. I burnt in February, I’ve been wearing SPF50 everyday since…

  • THIS!!!
    I go out whilst the sun is out, even for 5 minutes and my body is RED! Even when I’m wearing a really high factor sunscreen, I burn.
    I do love being pale but those comments you get are irritating. Then again I get the same with my hair “You’re hair is BLUE!” “You’re skin is so PALE!” … I have to assume people don’t think I own a mirror. xD

  • All so true! Pass the factor 50! x

  • Elyse

    Preach! haha, great post! I’m a natural redhead, but luckily I can survive the sun with a good spf sunblock (last year I was a gardener…although fun, probably not a good choice for my skintype) and even with sunblock you get freckles galore! I do love sun, and summer time but I would much prefer to sit in the shade rather than brave a sunburn. :)

  • I struggle with this too! I went on holiday to Turkey one year and hid out under a sun umbrella at the beach while lathering on factor 50 every 2-3 hours… despite this I got such bad sunburn that I couldn’t leave the hotel for THREE DAYS!

    I’m not a red head but I’m still pretty pale and get lots of freckles in the summer months. People often ask why I don’t fake tan but a) I think it would look weird on me and b) I actually like being pale (though I do wish I didn’t burn so easily)

    What an enjoyable read :)

    • Charl

      Ah thanks for the lovely message – glad you enjoyed the post!

      I’ve never been to Turkey PURELY as they’re famed for the heat and the chore of reapplying factor 50 so often even though I was living under an umbrella seems nightmareish.

      Poor you though being stuck in the hotel for so long – not the best way to spend a holiday!


  • This is SO accurate! Foundation shopping has been better for me in the UK though! In the US I had to either buy super expensive pale shades, or cocktail my own pasty white foundation using several products!

    • Charl

      I think drug stores over here in the UK have gotten SO much better at creating pale shades for us practically translucent gals. I do think drug store brands should bring out white foundations like Illamasqua though!

      What foundation do you use now my fellow pale face? x