I am going to be REAL here...it wasn't always easy for me to love the skin I'm in (and still isn't), even after being diagnosed with melanoma and accepting the fact that I will never have a real "tan" again. I'm not going to lie, I was one of those teens and young adults that LOVED having a tan. I remember dreading the Fall when school started because that would mean that I would gradually lose my tan from a long summer of working outdoors (I was a lifeguard and swim instructor).
Looking back, I definitely recognize that I had a tanning addiction. I couldn't wait to get my summer tan each year, I hated being "pale", and if there was a cloudy or indoor day in the summer, I worried my tan would fade! I know, crazy!
Fast forward to my 30's when I was diagnosed with melanoma. I have accepted the fact that a tan isn't worth that diagnosis, but not only that, the sun AGES you. I can see it now, all the sun spots, freckles and moles, fine lines and wrinkles! It flat-out SUCKS! I am now a sunscreen Nazi, and I always have a hat and sunglasses on to protect my face and head. But here's the thing, I still love having a little color, so occasionally I use the self-tanners (and even once in a blue moon get a spray tan).
Does this mean that I can't accept and love the skin I'm in though? I feel conflicted about this. Here I am preaching to love the skin you're in, but then I use a self-tanner to darken my skin? Am I not a good example now? And do people get the wrong assumptions when they see me "tan" and think that it's from the sun?
I go back and forth with this. On hand, I think, people can jump to any conclusion they want, I don't care. The people that know me, know that I am not getting a tan from outside (or tanning beds). But then on the other hand, I feel like I should just really accept my natural skin color (which isn't that pasty white anyways) and go with my glow because that's really what we should do!
It's a daily struggle being comfortable in your skin. I am still working on it.