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Why do people feel it's socially acceptable to comment on your paleness?

The other day a friend of mine was commenting on my daughters' olive skin tones and made a joke that one day they'll be embarrased by their pale mom. First of all, why is having a pale mom something to be embarrased about, and second even if it is, why would someone think it's ok to say that. I've noticed lots of people make comments like that, not generally quite so insulting, but many people think nothing of asking where's your tan in the summer time. This has always struck me as incredibly rude. Any thoughts?

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Asked by lovemydivas at 6:34 AM on Nov. 3, 2008 in Beauty & Style

Level 8 (257 Credits)
Answers (41)
  • I have no idea. I get that a lot since i'm a pale redhead and i'm very anemic. I've had someone I was talking to tell me I was whiter than Casper. It just doesn't bother me anymore. I also have the freckles to go with the red hair & every time I talk to an old man he asks me "did you stand behind a cow?". I don't see how any kid would be embarrassed because their mother is pale. My son is a redhead too but he's darker than I am at 10 months.

    Answer by bassyentihw at 7:04 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

  • I've actually been complimented on my skin even though I'm really pale a lot. I get told I have alabaster skin. I do get a lot of crap from my girlfriends who tan all year long about how I'm white as a ghost, but I don't mind it because I come back with the fact that they're all going to have wrinkles and cancer later on.

    Answer by kabbot01 at 7:09 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

  • I've always been pale (I'm a strawberry blonde) and it used to bother me like crazy but now I embrace my paleness! LOL! We spend a lot of time boating in the summer and I can get a tan but not a dark one. My hubby get very dark in the summer and all 3 of my boys do too but my poor daughter stays paler than me! I don't let it bother me anymore!

    Answer by bagjmama at 7:45 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

  • Ha! I once had someone ask me what color foundation I use...was it called "Death"? Well, a good ten years later, guess who has no crows feet, wrinkles, skin cancer, cosmetic surgery, botox, or sun damage? I still wear a hat, slather sunscreen on, and sit under an umbrella or shade within reason when at the beach or lake.

    Answer by KnoxvilleDoula at 8:34 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

  • Lol, good question! I'm not pale, but I like pale skin and have noticed that people will say things like that. I think when older women do that it's because it was acceptable in their generation, since people lose color in their cheeks when they don't feel well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:53 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

  • When they have skin cancer and look like a leather couch from over-tanning then you can laugh at them!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:03 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

  • Back in the 1800's having pale skin was good! It meant you were wealthy or royalty. The ones that had tanned skin were the ones that worked outside in the fields.

    I'm pale too and it really used to bother me, but I don't care anymore. I am fine with it. 10 years from now I won't look like leatherface ;)

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 9:08 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

  • Pale redhead with freckles here. My hubby pokes fun at me all the time when we're with his friends (it's not mean at all, I poke fun at the way he looks like Corey Feldman), but in the bedroom he rants and raves about my fair skin. Other people have commented on it, good and bad. It just comes with the territory, but I understand your resentment. Whoever said that was in bad taste.

    Answer by MamaLion82007 at 9:16 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

  • I have what i like to call alabaster sking, I am very pale but with dark hair and eyes, i cant tell you how many times people (probably well meaning?) have asked me if i was sick or accuse me of being lazy, first off i cant tan I burn and go white again, second i dont want skin cancer later in life so i wheni do go outside i make sure to rub on lots of sunscreen so i dont end burnt in pain and with cancer. My response is always to say well i think tan is tacky! and smile and walk away!

    Answer by elananme at 9:23 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

  • I am very pale and one of my daughters is olive like her father and the other is pale like me. I had a lady stop and make a comment that the pale one will be jealous of her sisters darker sking one day. How rude. Since when is being pale a bad thing? I agree with you completely. I am proud of my pale, melanoma free skin.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:34 AM on Nov. 3, 2008

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