Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Love the Skin You're In

I am going to be REAL 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.

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