1. You’ve had at least one brief, traumatic experience with self-tanner. You looked like a melting orange candle, and basically had to retire from society until your legs stopped being a checkerboard of brown and white.
2. Makeup shopping is a nightmare, because you will never be able to convey to the salesgirl that whatever their most pale foundation option is, you need something at least three shades paler than that.
3. They inevitably end up giving you “dusty ivory” or “crystal bone” or whatever, and you end up looking orange anyway.
4. Your friends never quite understand your level of seriousness when you say, “No, I can’t sit out in the sun all day, my skin will start peeling off in enormous sheets.” Everyone just hangs out by the beach/pool bronzing luxuriously while you chase the sliver of shade provided by your umbrella.
5. You know that the way to sexily rock paleness is to have a lean, lithe body and creamy, perfectly even skin. And you are not the sexy, Twilight kind of pale. You’re all red and blotchy, and definitely not sporting Stoya-level abs.
6. You wake up with a handful of freckles across your cheeks, and go to bed with a face full of them, like someone blew a dust cloud of freckles at you.
7. Certain colors make you look like a literal dead body, and you don’t know how to say this to your friend and/or the salesgirl, when they are trying to push a bright yellow maxidress on you, insisting that it will look “so cute!” No, tan people are the ones who look “so cute” in bright colors. On us, it just highlights how freshly dead we look.
8. Cellulite and general flaws are way more visible. Everything looks just slightly more unforgiving when you’re pale. Tan skin is like built-in mood lighting for your body.
9. After a 30-minute walk in the city on a relatively sunny day, your forehead, nose, arms, and tops of your feet are a highly lobstery shade of pink-red.
10. Getting water on your face makes you red. Drinking makes you red. Laughing makes you red. Turning around too quickly makes you red. Your face/chest are like a rorschach test waiting to be splattered with the ink of incredibly gentle movement.
11. When you are enjoying a night out with friends and someone yells “Let’s get a picture!” you immediately cringe, because you know that there will be flash involved, and you will come out looking like the guy from Powder.
12. Wearing “ivory” clothes generally makes you look like an antique. Like someone pulled you out of an attic and put you in the middle of a house party.
13. You get to feel like everyone’s mother when you pull out the giant bottle of SPF 75 and encourage everyone to “at least put some on their noses.” You then mutter to yourself in the corner while coating your body in the stuff, talking about how “the sun is at its peak burning hours.”
14. There are certain hours where you should just not be outside, and you know that.
15. The fashion industry’s definition of “nude”-colored products is a hilarious lie to you.
16. Even though you do very much enjoy summer (It’s warm! Barbecues!), you can tell that your body does not feel the same way. Your skin is constantly just like, “Why? Why am I being punished for going outside?”
17. But you know that when winter does come around again, your comical paleness will come across as an active aesthetic choice, and not a punishment. So it’s merely a waiting game.