Despite having Portuguese, Italian and Polish ancestry, my skin does not tan. Ok, so the Portuguese and Italian are probably too many generations ago for it to count but my Dad is frequently mistaken for being of Mediterranean origin and can tan in seconds. The Polish is only a great grandfather on my Mum’s side so not that far back. I just don’t tan, two weeks in the sun and the only way you can tell I’ve changed colour is by looking for white bits. I come back from my summer holidays (those where I leave the UK) and friends look at me quizzically and ask if the weather has been ok. It used to be that I actually wouldn’t change colour. I could spend a day out in the sun and I wouldn’t burn. This maybe due to my Mums insistence that we spend the entire summer holidays covered in white sticky suntan lotion I thought I’d developed a permanent resistance to the sun. In the last year or two, this seems to have changed and I do now have the propensity to burn. Which considering I have a huge number of rather large a-typical moles and have been told by a specialist that I therefore have a higher percentage risk of skin cancer isn’t a good idea. At least factor 25 and never out in the mid-day sun for me.
Not only do I not change colour naturally in the sun I don’t seem to be able to fake tan. I’ve tried several different brands and means of application and yet I always turn orange. My skin tone just doesn’t seem to suit a tan. O works as a gardener so he has been outside for the last three months, his face and arms are very tanned (farmer tan – he looks like he is wearing a permanent white t-shirt). #2 is naturally darker than me and living down South she sees more sun than I do. #1 is currently enjoying a fortnight’s holiday during which she will be lying in the sun constantly with her only activity to turn the page of her book or top-up her glass of wine (jealous? Yes I am). Her family get back to the UK two days before the wedding so there is no time for their tans to fade.
I will not be fake tanning or any sort of tanning for the wedding but I can’t help feel a little bit envious that I'll be the palest of all. I’m just going to have to wear my porcelain/blue hue with pride.