My Irish-German genetics don't give me much of a chance. I am one of the whitest people I know. I freckle somewhat up top, on my face and arms, while the rest of my upper body when tanned is what most people would think of as a 'normal skin tone'. From the waist down however, I do not tan easily at all. I can count on one hand the number of places in the world I've been where mysteriously the sun was at just the right angle, and the planets were aligned correctly resulting in my having a tanned lower body. Generally I've always been fairly accepting of this, however I've noticed that paradoxically here in the land where the sun rarely comes out from behind the clouds, my whiteness meets greater disdain than it did in Canada. Is it that we are trained in Canada to accept all skin tones? I don't know. But I do know this... there is a skin tone not widely seen in Canada... it's quite prevalent here... it looks something like this:
Now, I don't like fake tanners. I generally find them to be somewhat disagreeable in smell or texture, and let's face it... the colour often leaves something to be desired. We even have bright orange celebrities walking around proving to us that no matter how much money we were to spend on these products, that we may still end up orange, or blotchy if we aren't careful.
Or maybe I've just gotten it all horribly wrong and the point isn't actually to look naturally tanned. Perhaps the orange look is intentional. Could it be? Regardless, at the very least I can say that here around Liège, the look has caught on like wildfire:
That, and a random man stopped me on the street the other day to tell me I needed vitamins, because I (he was looking at my legs,) must be sick.
It left me feeling a little conflicted as I waited at the bus stop, gazing upon my remarkably pale legs. Might I find a way to give them a little boost, just to match them up with the rest of my skin, which does take colour?
To dye or not to dye? That is the question.