As soon as that first ray of sunshine breaks through the clouds in April, magazines, TV adverts and more or less the entire internet start shouting at us about getting our glow on, having fun in the sun and living life like a Baywatch highlights reel.
“I’m going to be super outdoorsy this summer!” I think, dreaming of floaty cotton dresses and long, hot afternoons in the sun. Then I remember that I’m the same shade as a vanilla ice cream and all my perfect summer visions crumble.
Pale people, let’s share the pain – because we all know summer’s going to look more like this…
1. Being caught off guard on the first hot day
You know how it goes. You head out like it’s any other day and then the sun decides to make a surprise visit. While everyone else gets a head start on their tan, you check for pink patches every five seconds while looking for the nearest place to grab some SPF 50.
2. Spending half of your money on sun cream
Is there anything more unfair than spending a tonne of money just so you can stay pale?
3. Getting sunburnt anyway
You’ve paid £15 for premium, super-high factor sun cream and spent half an hour painstakingly applying it to every centimetre of exposed skin, so you should be safe to go outside right? Wrong. Three hours later, you’re a vibrant shade of pink and regretting every second of sun exposure.
4. Trying – and failing – at fake tan
Your attempts to get a subtle sunkissed glow always end up in patchy disaster. But you’ll always have miraculously forgotten by the time next summer rolls round.
5. Taking extreme measures to avoid anymore sunburn
Massive hats are cool, right? Right?
6. Friends using you as the ‘before’
Whenever any of your friends come back from holiday, they immediately use your arm as a comparison to show off their tan.
7. Finding it impossible to take a photo with your tanned friends
No matter what filter you use, they look like bronzed goddesses and you’re just a floating pair of eyes.
8. Spending all summer hiding in the shade
You spend sunny days hopping between patches of shade like some kind of vampire. If anyone’s looking for you, they’ll find you skulking next to any building in sight, or under the nearest giant parasol.
9. Accepting your fate
And finally, you embrace your beautiful paper-white hue and resign yourself to a life of sun cream and shadows. Only a few more months till winter.
Image: Hailey Hamilton