1. People love to make jokes about how tan you look in photos, and they think they’re the first person to ever think of such a clever wisecrack. You boredly respond back “lol.”
2. We’re not pale. We’re just… sun-selective.
3. If you’ve ever succumbed to delirium and decided to set foot in a tanning salon, you convinced yourself that the employees were going to set their eyes on you and quietly ask you to leave. “Go home sweetheart, it’s a lost cause.”
4. Instead, they convinced you to sign up for a 10-visit special by passive-aggressively hinting that you really needed it.
5. So you went once, burnt your ass, and never returned again.
6. Sometimes, when the underside of your bare arm is exposed to the sun after a long winter, you’re almost blinded by the whiteness of it.
7. …Like, you actually have to put on sunglasses to look at your own arm.
8. If your friends decide to do any outside activity, even if it’s just sitting on a patio for brunch, you have to bring sunscreen. They’ll say something like “We’re only going to be outside for like an hour! And we’ll be under an umbrella. You’ll be fine.” You turn your pale face toward them. “Quiet, you fool,” you respond simply.
9. People tend to patronizingly try to compliment you. They use phrases like “creamy” and “milky” to describe your skin, thinking it’s a compliment. And you’re like, shut up.
10. Your friends, especially the tan ones, get a kick out of holding their arms next to yours, and saying ridiculously obvious statements, like “Oh my God, look at the difference!”
11. …And then all your friends insist on taking turns putting their forearms next to yours and taking photos.
12. You want to wear v-necks and t-shirts when you’re out in the sun instead of tank tops, in order to protect your skin, but if you do that, you just end up with a really awkward-looking sunburn.
13. You get burnt on body parts that other people didn’t think were possible. They laugh when you put lotion on your feet. Your fingers. Your ears. Your scalp. They’re shocked when you buy SPF chapstick. But if you didn’t, it would look like someone punched you in the mouth.
14. Aloe is the greatest, most amazing magical potion that’s ever been invented. And you can’t understand why no one else ever brings it to the beach.
15. When you’re at the beach, hot showers are out of the question. Regardless of how much effort you put into protecting your skin, you will still get burnt somewhere, and you won’t realize it until you’re in a scalding hot shower.
16. You’ve had at least one summer experience in which you fell asleep without your sunglasses on and woke up looking like you were wearing a strange reddish-purplish eye shadow. Who knew eyelids could get burnt? You did.
17. People try to reassure you that your skin will be so much more beautiful than everyone else’s when you’re much older. And you’re like, “Thanks. It’s good to know I’ll be the best-looking ninety-year-old woman around.”
18. You try very hard to pull off the color white. And you’re usually unsuccessful. And when you do wear it, you’re convinced it’s just blending right into your skin.
19. You’ve been called Casper the Friendly Ghost at least once in your lifetime. And you were barely even fazed.