Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday: The Struggle is Real

I'm joining Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday!  Today's topic is "the struggle is real."  I'm really looking forward to reading everyone's posts because there are so many directions you could take with this!

Mother's Day 2017
Granted I don't think the natural lighting in this picture is doing anything for my skin tone, this is pretty much me.

For me, the very first thing that came to mind was the fact that I have very fair skin.  My mom remembers my older brother and I getting bubble blisters from horrible sunburns when we were really little.  My brothers, sister and I grew up on a farm when I was in grade school and practically lived outside, but other than my freckles getting darker you wouldn't have known it.  In high school I remember a guy classmate calling me albino (uh hello, I have brown hair and hazel eyes...) and another telling me that I "look dead" (um, thanks).  During photography school my teacher told me something to the effect of, "I've never seen anyone in Hawaii stay so pale."  A guy I had just met in my husband's first army unit called me a ghost.  Then in nursing school I had a nurse preceptor stop mid-sentence, stare at me, and say, "you're really, really pale.  Are you ok?"  I responded that this was my normal color and she said, "ok, just didn't want you passing out on us."  Should I go on?  I've never done it, but I've always been tempted to ask people in these situations if they're racist.  It'd mostly be a joke, but I mean, we're talking about the color of my skin, right?

As you can imagine, there have been times I've felt somewhat self-conscious about being so fair-skinned.  I used a tanning bed briefly right before prom junior year and my wedding, but other than that I've stayed away from tanning beds.  I definitely don't care enough to up my chances of skin cancer.  I've gotten a spray tan twice before weddings that I've been a bridesmaid in and if you didn't look too closely they added some nice color, but never looked quite natural.  About three years ago I tried tanning towels for the first time, again right before a friend's wedding.  Well I didn't know I was suppose to apply a barrier to my hands or wear special gloves and the next morning I woke up with orange palms!  I tried everything I could think of to scrub it off and nothing worked.  Thankfully I had a Norwex bath towel with me on the trip and although it didn't take it all off, it made a noticeable difference.  After that I used tanning towels occasionally before events (being much more careful with my hands).  Then when I was pregnant with Emma I didn't use them at all to avoid any potential chemicals in them but decided to just one time right before maternity pictures.  Well, the morning of pictures I woke up with orange palms (even though I was careful) and a rash on my growing belly (which had never happened previously).  Pregnancy hormones?  Ahh, good times.  Although I've used them one time since then, I've pretty much resigned to not using them again.  The color just never looks completely natural, they are kind of stressful to apply just right, and it just feels like I'm trying too hard.

Then just last week I went to pick up a tinted moisturizer with SPF for the summer from Sephora.  I'd heard good things about Clinique's City Block.  It comes in just one universal color that's suppose to work for all skin tones.  Well guess what, it was too dark for me.  *Sigh*...  the struggle is real, y'all! 😉

I laughed so hard listening to the audio version of Jim Gaffigan's book Dad is Fat recently.  Jim can relate to my struggle.  Here's an excerpt from a section he entitled Pale Force.

If you have no idea what I look like, I'm a very pale person.  My photo on the book cover was retouched to make the glare from my skin easier on your eyes.  Hey, the publisher wanted to sale books.  Trust me, I'm a very pale person.  No, I'm paler than that.  Yes, that pale.  Even when I look in the mirror I think, "wow, I'm pale."  I've never tanned.  Growing up I hated being pale.  I was the whitest kid in an all white community.  Ironically, in a way I was the minority.  As a kid I was called "whitey," "casper," "albino."  Other kids would ask, "why are you so pale?"  I realize this is a minor form of bullying compared to what some have gone through, but to the 10-year-old me it was brutal.  I felt like an outcast.  I was the pale kid...  Eventually I embraced my paleness.  I even learned to laugh at my paleness.  Now imagine five miniature versions of me, but not as dark skinned.  During the summer my children need sunscreen applied to them every 10 minutes or they will die....  Whoever decided that the protective goo that pale people need to slather liberally on their skin should be white and actually make them look paler is just cruel.  But that's only the first problem with sunscreen.  To fully grasp the commitment sunscreen demands from me consider the following:  I hope this will be an easy book to read.  If you wanted to, I suppose you could read this book in a few hours.  That is roughly the time it takes to properly apply sunscreen to one of my children.  Now multiple that by five.  Now add in the fact that I have to sunscreen myself.  Now you understand why I hate the summer.  "We're going to the beach next week."  Well, I better start putting sunscreen on them now...

Bahahaha!!  The whole book is so good.  I highly recommend it.

So there you have it.  My lifelong struggle!

Previous Show and Tell Tuesday posts:
Steal and Splurge
My Loves

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