Not Pasty: Why Pale Is The New Tan

by Lauren Martin

Years ago, I used to wear dark brown NARS bronzing liquid to try and make people believe my skin was naturally a copper brown.

I would cover my face with it in a mirror that was placed too high above my dresser, unable to see the difference between my white neck and the Crayola crayon color of my face.

Hence, I thought my nickname, "half baked" had something to do with the cookies my mom packed in my lunch (but they're store bought! How can they be undercooked??) and it wasn't until months later that I realized the horrible truth I'd been living.

I’m not sure if I’m trying to make up for those 14 months when I unknowingly made myself up like an Oompa Loompa, or if I’ve just embraced the lack of bronzer as a liberating expression of my individuality as a woman, but I've fully and completely embraced the "pale look." It seems, however, that I'm a little late on this trend.

Sometime, somewhere, a lot of women decided to stop trying to look like a Greek goddess from Michigan and Maine. They stopped with the tanning beds and started heavily with the suntan lotion.

They may not have stopped ironing their blonde hair and putting it in a bun on the top of their head, but they stopped with the bronzing powder. They became increasingly aware of their mothers and sister's rubbery look and took a strong stand against it.

Like when big asses and plump lips became the trend, tan went out and healthy, natural skin came in.

Celebrities, models, and anyone who is worth looking at were no longer "pasty" or "translucent," but "porcelain" and "natural."

Girls felt free to express their true selves in the winter, embracing the pale, white and sometimes sickly look in favor of the bronze, orange and definitely unhealthy one.

So for all of you who feel rather ugly and pale right now, just remember, you're rocking that look and it's a fashion statement you don't even realize you're making.

Because cover-ups are more fashionable than skin cancer

Now that cancer is like the camel toe on your complexion, we're trying everything we can to avoid it.

No longer is it popular to layer ourselves in oil, but to find the highest SPF and brag about it.

Because Emma Stone is hot

Emma Stone, Emma Watson and Emma Roberts are all hot, but not because their names are all Emma (well, maybe. It's a hot name).

These woman are all triple Ps. Pale, pale and paler. They make that milky complexion something you want to lick off.

Because red lipstick looks bomb

If there's one clear-cut advantage to the pale look, it's the red look. The girl with that milky white complexion can pull off engine red like it was meant for her and only her.

Because it looks good with all hair colors

If you’re blonde, you look like Marilyn Monroe. If you're brunette, you look like Audrey Hepburn. If you're a redhead, you'll look like Ginny Weasley. Sorry, they can't all work.

Because you always have an excuse to bail on outdoor activities

Your friends might not like that you're bailing, but they can't argue against health. It's the argument that has no holes -- only spots.

Because one day you might need that top layer of skin

You'd rather own an expensive leather bag than look like one...

You're saving money

Being pale is like being a woman in the grocery store with all the coupons. You're saving money and you didn't have to do anything.

Because you always know how to pick your foundation

It’s always the lightest one… pale. And if it's not that one, then just check to see if your mom has any Crisco in the cupboard.

Because it’s regal

Grace Kelly wasn't worried about keeping that perfect tan. Katherine Hepburn didn't care about that orange glow.

They were elegant and sophisticated and just because we will never talk like movie stars of the '50s, we can at least try and look like them.

Because you can rock it year round

Rocking the pale look is like being hot without makeup. When you do put it on, you look great, but you don't always need it. For those who need to be tan all of the time, it's like wearing makeup to bed because you can't show your real face.

Because babies aren't born with bronzer

How can we look so natural from the moment we're born and not look natural in our twenties or thirties? It's what I like to call, the "just born" look.

Because you actually get a tan, you can appreciate it

Tans are like money. Only when you've gone so long without it do you finally appreciate what it means when you do.

Like money, you're also not attached to it. You can let it go, the same way Lindsay Lohan did.