18 Things That Happen When You’re A Pale Girl During Bikini Season

1. You know when it’s coming. The air smells fresher. The days are longer. The Victoria’s Secret swimsuit catalogs start arriving in the mail. And all you can think is, “Another bikini season. Another series of events in which I will blind people with my white body.”

2. Most people are concerned with budgeting out enough money for beach trips, workout classes, and new swimwear. But you’re mostly concerned with having enough money to buy a couple bottles of sunscreen every single week. Because, damn, that shit is expensive and you go through it like water.

3. Whenever you and your friends are planning some kind of sunny outing, you are always finished getting ready at least half an hour before them. Not because you’re always naturally ahead of schedule. Not because you can get ready in the blink of an eye. But because it’s necessary for you to dedicate at least twenty to thirty minutes solely to lathering yourself in a thick coat of sunscreen.

4. …But regardless of how long you spend putting it on and how meticulously you do it, you somehow get burnt anyway.

5. And whenever you do get a really bad sunburn, it’s always on random patches of your body that you had never even thought about up until this moment. The space in-between your fingers? That area in-between your boob and your armpit? How the hell are you supposed to remember to put sunscreen there?

6. You’ve had more than one occasion where you’ve forgotten your sunscreen and you’ve had to ask your friend if you could borrow some of theirs. And they hand you a bottle of SPF 8 and you’re like “…..lol, no.”

7. So instead you walk ten blocks to the nearest store or turn around and go back to the house to grab more. Because even though it’s a pain in the ass, nothing is worse than the slow torture of waiting for a burn that you know is imminent.

8. When you do get a seriously bad sunburn, people love pointing it out to you, as if you had NO CLUE what had happened to your body or had not looked in a mirror in the last several days. You’re always tempted to reply, “I’m sunburnt?! No way! Are you sure? HOW CAN YOU KNOW?!”

9. You no longer laugh at the weirdos who walk around wearing umbrella hats. Instead, you’re just like, damn that’s brilliant. 

10. You basically order all of your bathing suits online and avoid going to the mall at all costs, because trying on a swimsuit in front of the fluorescent lights of a fitting room mirror will just make you look even more translucent than you already do. Best to just order your suits online and try them on in the dead of night.

11. When you eventually do get some color, people never say, “Oh, you’re looking tan!” Instead, they usually comment on your freckles, or just imply that you look less white and/or deathly than you did before.

12. While you’re out in the sun, you have to think of ways to protect areas of your body that no one else thinks about, like your eyelids or your lips or your scalp or your ears. You’re never without a hat. Or SPF chapstick. Or the beautiful invention that is spray sunscreen. Or a giant blanket that you can just wear over your entire body that will allow you to hide from the hideous sun forever.

13. You prefer to take pictures in the shade because you’re afraid that if you take it out in the bright white sunlight, the camera won’t be able to find you. This is only kind of a joke.

14. Many girls love wearing white swimsuits because it helps their skin to look super tan. You, on the other hand, avoid white swimsuits like the plague, because a white swimsuit would pretty much blend right in to your body and make you look like you’re naked.

15. Same goes for any swimsuit that is yellow or orange or lime green. Not because those colors would also blend in to your body. But because they would just look terrifying and sad.

16. Sometimes people ask you why you don’t just start going to the tanning salon. They don’t understand that you’d have to go every day, for five hours a day, while magically not getting burnt to a crisp, in order to ever, ever look semi-tan.

17. Although your friends all like to take the straps off their suits while they’re lying out, you prefer to keep them on, because tan lines are never annoying to you. You wear those things loud and proud, because a tan line is actual proof that you used to be whiter than you are right now, and that being out in the sun DID SOMETHING GOOD to your body for once.

18. You think of cover-ups literally. They’re not cute little sarongs or sheer dresses that you throw on for show. You actually look for the ones that will cover up your body when you’re starting to feel like an egg in a frying pan. Oh, how good it is to be you. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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