How do you like your skin? Pale or toasted
Every time I go to Spain for holidays, one of the first findings of people to me is: "Oh, you look so white", "You're whiter than calamari", “you look so Chinese”…
This year I have taken a long vacation and I went to the beach as much as I could go. Recently, when I went back to Shanghai, the first thing people tell me (Chinese friends) was: "uhhh that…", "What a color…because of the sun?”, "But what happened to you?" Or observations such as: "Why is your body darker than your face?", “Why is your face not tanned?” and “Why are your feet the darkest part of your body? No matter where I am, I do not fit.
The sun, the heat ... makes my day! I grew up in maritime places, with bright light… blue sky and THE SUN!. Being caribbeanandalusian, it is not easy! At the beginning, I did not like being long-time without the sun, and after a while, I've started to get used to it and accepted the condition of being superwhite.
I don’t know why the best sunny days are weekdays.
I remember that time (in my first month living in Beijing), the sun came out shining bright, so I went down to my compound’s garden, and laid down in the grass with my towel and my bikini on. After a while, a senior Chinese couple, speaking to me in Chinese, approached me with a confused and amazed expression on their faces, like saying "What are you doing crazy?" While he was pointing at the sky. But I did not understand a thing, I thought that maybe I could not be wearing a bikini there. After a while, I realized that he was referring to the danger of the sun.
Like in Europe 60 years ago, for them to have a dark skin was a sign you were a peasant. But then times changed when people started to travel for holidays, sailing on yachts, so that’s where the tan came from. So now in China, (I would say in Asia) the logic is the following: White skin=rich; Rich=beautiful. In China, the typical beauty is deeply rooted in traditional beauty.
If you walk down any Chinese street on a sunny day, you have to dodge girls’ umbrellas who want to protect (escape) from sunlight and keep their white porcelain skin.
It’s interesting, some people strive to stay as white as possible, and others struggle to be dark, and keep their tan! That's another thing that costs time and effort.
Through cultures and times, people have had crazy aesthetic tendencies and absurd obsessions. For some people these tendencies were normal, for some others they were ridiculous, a true madness.
Nowadays, we have the Ganguro girls, for example. Have you ever heard of them? It is a fashion style born in Japan. Ganguro girls are characterized by having a dark skin that looks very artificial, dyed light hair worn with an extremely artificial makeup. To most of us, it might seem horrible, but they have many supporters. There is a big Ganguro community and they have their own magazines to inspire their followers, and they also organize gatherings to share their hobbies and to spend time together in Harajuku.
I have to say that when I was younger, I did crazy things and I have been obsessed with the sun and getting tanned. My logic was: Being tanned=beautiful; being white=ugly. NO! Error! Now I learned: It is not beautiful to get burnt. SUN=SUNBURN=UGLY=NOT HEALTHY=GETTING OLD=EVEN UGLIER.
I vote for naturalness and health. In other words, bravo natural beauty! Love yourself no matter the skin color you were born with. Diversity and racial differences make fashion and beauty trends much more interesting! Naturalness is always beautiful and the best option!
I admit I love my skin sun-kissed. But in winter, I accept and love my skin the way it is. As Michael Jackson said (paradoxically) "It Don't matter if you are black or white”.
And remember: if you are going to be exposed to the sun, use an SPF; if you are walking with an umbrella be careful and don’t hit other people; and if you drink, don’t drive.