Learning to Love my Fair Skin

Learning to Love my fair Skin

love the skin you're inNEWSFLASH ya’ll…I have fair skin. Fair, pale, pasty, call it what you wish…I’m “whiter” than most. And boy, oh, boy is this something I’ve struggled to deal with my entire life. I still struggle with it, almost daily. We all have things we are self-conscious about, right? Well, for me it’s always been my fair skin. Ten years ago, when I was in my late teens and dealing with the pressures if fitting in during high school, I hated my fair skin. Which made me thinking tanning was the solution. Well, roughly 12 biopsies, and 3 fully removed dysplastic nevi later, I was so so wrong.

One of my biggest regrets is the tanning I did in high school. Now, I didn’t tan religiously by any means. I would go before vacations, and before prom, etc. But, that was enough to have a serious impact on me. Why do all teens think they are invincible? It was about 4 years ago that I started reallyyy focusing on my skin. I started educating myself on skin cancer, sun safety, etc. I made my first appointment with my amazing dermatologist, and I left in tears and totally terrified, but also empowered. I realized I’m at pretty much the greatest risk possible for developing skin cancer, and especially melanoma: fair skin, blue eyes, red/blonde hair, family history, a lot of freckles and moles, history of tanning, history of burning, etc. I am able to cross off every single one of those items. Talk about terrifying. It was also about this time that I personally knew someone who passed away from melanoma. She was in her early thirties, and had a spot on her back. A few months later, she was gone. Cancer does not discriminate.

So, every three months, I am back with my dermo for a full body check of my moles. Just this week I had another biopsy done. And now I wait 1-2 weeks with anticipation that everything comes back normal. I try not to think about it too much during the waiting period, or else I get really anxious, nervous, and regretful. What’s done is done, and now I live with the consequences. I live with being poked and prodded every few months. I live with being covered in scars from biopsies and fully removed abnormal moles. I live with the constant fear that more likely than not, at some point in my life I may hear the word cancer.

Quarterly Skin Cancer Check
Quarterly Skin Cancer Check

It is hard enough to deal with the social pressures of being pale. I hear about it from everyone: family, friends, acquaintances, etc. For some reason people always feel the need to comment on the color of my skin.  I have cried, {countless times} from comments from people. It hurts. Even something meant as an innocent comment stings. I’ve even had people say “well at least you’re a pretty pale person”…ummm, thanks? Thank you for implying that most fair skinned people are not pretty? That in no way shape or form makes me feel better. I feel obligated to wear jeans or long skirts in the summer, just so people can’t comment on my white legs. I’d rather deal with being hot and miserable than open myself up to criticism. Isn’t that sad? I am the girl wearing a long sleeve rash guard all summer long when I’m outside, I will wear SPF 90, and yet I will still worry about burning. I am so conscious of my sun exposure now. So when people still continue to make comments, I have to remind myself that I’d rather have pasty white skin, then skin cancer. I am doing my best to protect myself. I am doing my best to love my fair skin.

The older I get, the thicker my (fair) skin gets. I realize that this is the skin I am in, and nothing is going to change that. No matter the comments I get, it doesn’t change anything. I am who I am, so I might as well embrace it. We all have things we wish we could change, or wish people wouldn’t notice or comment on. So why can’t we all just support those differences and traits that make us unique? The world would be a much happier and healthier place. Differences make the world go round! So here’s to looking forward to spring and summer of being confident in my skin, not letting haters tear me down over the color of my skin, and practicing sun safety. Fair skin >  scars > cancer.

You may also like

Leave a Reply