An Open Letter

by Rachel on February 2, 2010

Dear White People,

I ask you this year after year, and now I am going to ask you again: please stop tanning.

It always gets bad right around this time; I know it’s the coldest, blah-est month of the year when I watch the MILF parade come into spinning in a contest to prove you can never be too thin, too rich, or too tan. The other day a woman walked by me at the gym and I had to do a double-take; her skin was the color of a Fourth of July bratwurst, fresh off the grill.

Ladies, you are not tan. You are Crayola.

With skin the color Gumby’s friend Pokey, you look so unnatural, so fantastically “sunkissed” against the harsh gray of winter, you resemble candied yams.

It’s odd actually, to see the fake tans. When I was in NYC, no one was tan. I couldn’t tell you where the tanning salons were in the city; it just wasn’t really done. Sure during January and February, every woman was snowy white, but it was lovely! And it was perfectly acceptable!

And I know you think it’s attractive. You look thinner! Your skin clears up! Yes…your skin clears up for now. When they remove a melanoma along with half your face, your skin will not be looking so clear. When you are thinking about Botox at age 26, it’s not because of your glowing complexion! And then you get all, “But February is so depressssinngggggg! I need my Vitamin D!!!!!”

Whine, whine, whine. I need my Vitamin D too! Actually, since my skin is naturally darker, I probably need it more than you do. But I’m not going to let you get away with being vain and risking your life and then citing a vitamin deficiency!

And sure, maybe I’m just jealous. With one black parent, I will never know what it is like to knowingly and willingly deep-fry myself in UV rays. I don’t understand what it’s like to feel oily, splotchy, and smelling of sweaty coconut. I’ll admit that I’m a bit curious to experience that, but hey — it’s those kinds of disadvantages that affirmative action is making up for.

I know how much you love to lift up your shirt and compare your stomach to mine. I used to love it too; it was one competition I could always win! But…unfortunately I can’t win anymore. I wear SPF and shun the sun and in the winter, my skin gets lighter than I ever knew possible. Sitting at a desk all day isn’t doing me any favors; I’m rivaling the cast of “Twilight” with my complexion…and you all are one bottle of oil away from BET.

But the fact is you aren’t black. You are orange. Overcook a white girl in fake sunlight and she turns orange.

Please make this the year you end this vile, deadly habit and let your pale skin shine.

Love you mean it,


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Teri February 2, 2010 at 8:54 am

hahaha – if you don’t like fake tans, NEVER go to Utah. It’s out of control. Think Jersey Shore but with lots of blondies with fake boobs. :)

I posted a new cycle playlist last night, but on my new blog – The class was awesome last night! I was dripping wet with sweat by the end (that’s what she said.;).


2 Teri February 2, 2010 at 8:54 am

P.S. I love your festive V-day header.
.-= Teri´s last blog ..Eat your greens…and your purples =-.


3 Elisabeth February 2, 2010 at 9:38 am

Oh my. I used to tan like it was my jayObee. I was at professional status. I got a discount at the tanning salon because I went so often. I’ll admit that I sometimes miss the glow and the way that it makes my baby muscles look more defined…but skin cancer is just not on my “to do” list.

I’ve embraced my inner Casper, and I am whiter than I ever imagined I could be. And anyway…my tanning salon went out of business. lol.
.-= Elisabeth´s last blog ..Our Wedding Plan: My Hair! =-.


4 Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle February 2, 2010 at 9:46 am

Hahaha… THANK YOU! I went home to Rochester, which has more cloudy days than Seattle, and everyone and their mom was tan. Who are you fooling?! When I was younger and more foolish, I tried to go to a tanning salon a few times but then realized how hilariously ridiculous it was to try and tan in a bed when I nor my ancestors had ever acquired a natural tan.
.-= Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle´s last blog ..Catching some zzz’s =-.


5 Julia February 2, 2010 at 11:53 am

I’m so glad you addressed this. I judge people that go tanning. Along the same note, I also judge people that smoke. Sigh.


6 AMTB February 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm

It may be a KC thing but I knew a handful of light skinned blacks-not mixed-people who went tanning. Not that I could tell but they said they did. One in particular really HATED light skinned people, but that’s a conversation for another time. Thank you for writing this. I HATE it when people who tan point out they are darker than me. I avoid the sun & use sunscreen so I’m not sure why some women think this is a polite thing to do. Tan if you want but leave me out of your dumb habits. The only thing worse than fake baking women are fake baking men!


7 Carla Aldaco February 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Oh Rachel! Once again you make my day with your hilarious writing! ahahah LOVE it! Please post this as a note on FB or better yet just make this your status, “Ladies, you are not tan. You are Crayola.
With skin the color Gumby’s friend Pokey, you look so unnatural, so fantastically “sunkissed” against the harsh gray of winter, you resemble candied yams.”


8 Rachel February 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm

LOL Carla I will post it on Facebook…should I tag everyone in it who needs to take a long, hard look at her Oompa Loompa skin in the mirror?


9 Lindsey512 February 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Love this!! This is such a Michigan thing, too (I’m from there).


10 Shannon February 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

WELL said!! You are cracking me up with “Ladies, you are not tan. You are Crayola”


11 jane February 2, 2010 at 8:01 pm

HAHA this is hilarious and so true! my fellow pale friend and i were just discussing this the other day- we look so white compared to our friends, but i REFUSE to tan, for a lot of reasons, but mainly cause i dont want to look like a leather purse when i’m 40.


12 AMTB February 2, 2010 at 10:08 pm

And then the photos that accompany the post… You are too damn much!


13 Carla Aldaco February 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm

HAhah yes call them out!!! That would be great! You could take the “I’m just concerned about your well being approach”!


14 Tracie February 3, 2010 at 9:00 pm

This is too funny! Thanks for the laugh.


15 Katie February 4, 2010 at 11:22 pm

I had to do a double take at the gym today. I walked into the locker room and there was this glowing older lady changing, glowing orange! Disgusting. She carried herself like she thought she was God.


16 Anne February 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

Send this to Wynonna Judd STAT! I just saw her on television and it was not pretty. I mean, sure, she’s lost a little weight and all, but that purple/red hair and fake tan overshadow any good she may be doing.

I feel much better now.
.-= Anne´s last blog ..The Beauty of Winter =-.


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