Being pale in summer is hard. Actually, it's basically a nightmare. I know first hand the effort it takes to look good from April to September when your skin tone is just not meant for the season.
I've had sun stroke, burning that's scarred, fake tan disasters so bad I've had to cancel any social activity and on one occasion - a romantic break, naturally - broke out in a heat rash that stayed for a month and covered both my legs (which in turn decided to swell like sponges).
Nope, summer is not easy when you're pale. Mainly, for these five reasons...
1. The pressure of constant self tanning. Lots of people say things like, "oh, if I was you I'd just go pale. Pale's so cool." These people don't know what they're talking about. Pale is cool on girls like Lily Cole - on a willowy limb, pale is beautiful and ethereal. On a regular woman - who's not super long - pale skin can look washed out and if the temperature dips, goes a peculiar colour of blue. On one occasion, a former colleague compared my legs to "corned beef" - a particularly depressing low. Fake tanning hides this, and therefore can feel mandatory.
2. The ongoing threat of sunburn. Devil may care, you decide to get pissed on Pimm's and forget to slap on another layer of sun protection? You get burned. Think you're safe because it's an overcast day? You get burned. Have lunch in a beer garden? Burned. For you, the sun is not warm and pretty-making - it's dangerous and the source of all redness.
3. You have to be super organised. Olive skinned friends just throw on a sundress and stroll out into the brightness. Meanwhile, you're wrestling with a million products (exfoliator, body butter, self tan, sun lotion, cooling gel, bronzer) and thinking of new inventive ways to cover your poor shoulders. It may be summer time, but the livin' sure ain't easy.
4. Pulling off a spring/summer palette can be impossible. Yellow makes you look like you've got rosacea and don't even talk about orange (it's the pale girl's nemesis - sent to challenge her ability to stay on trend). You want to have that summer vibe but sometimes even a pastel is problematic. It's constant trial and error.
5. You get fed up. With all this effort - this exfoliating, tanning, trying not to get burned, thinking of ways to work trends that were not invented for you - it's no wonder sometimes you just want to sit in a cool room and watch New Girl repeats. So what if it's glorious outside? But you don't. After each fake tan disaster (see point four about the trouble with orange) you dust yourself off, apply another coat of factor 50 and throw yourself back out there. Well, it's better than winter, right?