Love the Skin You're In

Now, let me start off by saying that I’ve never thought of myself as an insecure person. I know that I have flaws, like every other person, but I never let that stop me from appreciating myself. Or so I thought. I guess sometimes your insecurities run so deep that even you don’t know you have them. 

My deepest insecurity happens to be my skin. 

I can already imagine my friends and family’s first thoughts when reading that statement. “But your skin is so nice! You never get any acne! If this is about your freckles, they’re super cute!” This isn’t about my freckles. It’s about something that sounds so ridiculous that I’m even slightly embarrassed to be typing this. It’s about my inability to tan. 

I know, I know, that seems so superficial, but it’s true. Ever since I can remember I’ve been made fun of for my paleness. I like to think that it was never done to intentionally be mean but more to poke fun. But here’s the thing, I never thought it was funny. People had always assumed that since I wasn’t tan (and usually wasn’t too sunburnt either because I’m aware that sunscreen and skin cancer exist) meant I didn’t go outside often, which usually often lead to a follow up assumption that I wasn’t active. This would especially bother me since I actually work outside everyday as a sailing instructor, so these assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth.

But you guys aren’t reading this to hear all about my insecurities, you’re reading to hear how I overcame it. So here’s my piece of advice to anybody who's struggling with insecurities: own it. You need to own it. Stop thinking of it as an insecurity and instead think of it as just any other of your features. In my case, whenever anybody brought up how pale I was (and still am) in any way, I would bring up my heritage in one way or another. “Wow you really work outside all day? But you don’t look very tan?” Well I’m English, German, Swedish, and Irish, so you tell me which one of those genes are going to allow me to tan. 

The real message to be taken away from this story is that you should never be embarrassed about something that you can’t help or that makes you happy. I can’t change my skin so I learned to love it instead.