‘No amount of photo editing can help you’, and other realities you must accept when you’re the pale friend

Everyone wants to stand next to you in the group photos


We all know the feeling. You get back from a holiday, you see your friends and they squeal ‘ooh have you even been away?’. It’s no wonder the self-tanning industry is thought to be worth as much as $1bn.

My pale, pale friends, there are certain realities of having melanin-deficient skin we have all come to terms with.

You will be teased for carrying suncream, when it is not deemed necessary by normal people

Yes, I’m aware it’s only seven degrees, but the sun will push through that and I will get burnt.

You will  while away your days playing uno with the other pale ones. You gave sunbathing a go on the first day but realised it’s not hugely worth it without the end result of a tan. You are just getting hot and sweaty, risking getting burnt and you have to spend 45 minutes ensuring equal suncream coverage. Pass.

When the outline of your pale frame is imprinted into people’s retinas

Honestly, people shield their eyes as you walk past them on the beach.

Every photo on your phone is taken in ‘transfer’

Wooooo holiday OK let me just edit that a bit.

People will use you as a way to make their pale friend feel better

Case in point:

Your mum tells you you’ll have ‘such lovely skin’ when you’re her age

Well I better.

No makeup is pale enough

The girl at the counter says ‘no no, you need ivory’. You try it and you’re still too pale.

Losing your fake tan on holiday is comparable to losing your passport

As far as Facebook knows, you never even went on holiday. You’ve dodged and dived your way out of every picture.

When it’s day five and everyone is repping their tan and you are just repping arm freckles

And you are paler than when you left because your fake tan has worn off

But you sit in the sun and pretend it will make any difference anyway, covered from head to two in 50+spf.

People get tired of you asking them to reapply suncream

‘Am I burnt? Am I burnt yet? How about now?’

Everyone wants to stand next to you in the group pics

‘Hey, come here. Quick!’ The shutter sound goes off and you’re standing there thinking, ‘how nice, Becca wants to stand next to me’. Then it dawns on you. They were all fighting over you because you make them look more tanned. You’ve been fooled.

You ruin the exposure on the pictures

Instagram filters are your only hope

Come on Hefe, you’ve got this.

That sometimes you’re more blue-gray than white

You worry for your health occasionally. You’re checked for anemia and, sure, you probably have it.

Matchy matchy

Even the tanning salons are bullying you

The kimono will be your best friend

It stays firmly covering your shoulders, saving you from sunstroke and sunburn.

And you constantly check everyone around you isn’t burnt

Come here I’ll put some cream on your shoulders, they look a bit pink.

You then have a go at whoever put cream on your shoulders for not doing it properly

You can never use too much. You will punish them by forcing them to apply aftersun every five minutes.

Even though you told them you ‘don’t burn’

‘I’m really careful with cream and stay in the shade a lot. I just stay the same colour.’

When your iPhone camera can’t handle your paleness

Pretending to enjoy the sun when it comes out

Ah yay, summer, great *looks for shade to hide in*

And you ruin all the holiday pics with your whiteness

Jus’ me being super pale.