My salad dressing days

Sacrifice your vanity for the sake of our planet
June 16, 2007, 6:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In Elizabethan times, it was cool to have skin as white as snow and people were forever dusting their faces with talcum powder or such like*. Cool because it meant you weren’t a peasant and didn’t have to work in the fields. Same goes for modern day China and India, where women prefer to paint their faces with cosmetic bleach. Mmmm!

Latterly, it was cool to have a tan. Cool because it meant you could afford to holiday in warmer climes.

More recently – and rather excitingly for those of us with Celtic skin tones – it is now (almost) cool to be pallid again. Cool because everyone knows there is no such thing as a healthy tan and only the stoopid would expose themselves to UV rays unprotected, risking a basal cell carcinoma or malignant melanoma.

But it seems that the social conditioning derived from years of gazing at orange-faced models on the front of wimmin’s magazines is not so easy to shake off.

We therefore smear ourselves with tinted moisturisers (I am as guilty as the next woman) and in the process yet another planet-saving idea is thwarted. Consider all those hundreds of millions of white bodies (especially those belonging to the increasing numbers of clinically obese Caucasians – total surface area to die for!) and their immense potential to reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere, thereby halting global warming.

So, guys and gals, please consider joining me in a whole new campaign: Stay Pale For The Planet. To clarify, let me give you a little list in the style of Observer Woman, because all good ‘zine editors know that wimmin are too stoopid to absorb this kind of information unless it is reduced to bite-sized chunks using words of no more than two syllabubs:

Being pale
Having a body with an above average surface area
Robbing Procter and Gamble of a few million squid

Looking orange
Size zero – too low on sunlight-reflection potential
Giving our hard-earned cash to large conglomerates**

(Once we can figure out the intellectual property issues, I shall be releasing a reworded version of Tom Robinson’s ‘Glad to be gay’. Sing along now, y’all: Sing if you’re proud to be pale, sing if you’re happy that way…hey!)

* they were also keen on not brushing their hair which meant that those Marie Antoinette style beehives became home to small birds and rodents – thankfully, this idea has never since been regarded as cool

** deep breaths, laydeez…practise with me: CON-GLOM-ER-ATES (‘con’ being the operative syllabub)


16 Comments so far
Leave a comment

ooh, ooh, where do I sign up! I’m pale, pale, pale.

I have missed you UC. Read your recents posts and laughed and laughed. You are still one of the funniest ladies I know. I especially like the Hebe and Hosta idea. šŸ™‚

Comment by Kyahgirl

i, too, am pasty and proud(ish) of it – or at least not ashamed enough to be arse to do anything about it. i hate sunbathing and i can’t stand the wet-leather smell of fake bake.
mind you – whatever owm tells me to to do, that’s what i won’t be doing. makes me spitting mad too!

Comment by rivergirlie

Nice to know I’ve been ahead of the game for several decades with the whole ‘sacrifice your vanity’ malarkey.

Now all I need is ‘fat, hairy, tattooed’ to be the theme at London Fashion Week, and I’ll be minted.

Comment by Mr H

I could save the entire planet with acres of gleaming white flesh….sign me up.

Re your comments on mine, yes yes yes, for the friendship in unexpected places (still bowls me over) and the support and kindness in barrels….I’m pretty new to blogging (though did some parenting forum about ten years ago – but that was just chat and took about an hour for each post to load!!)….
now intrigued by where you earned a crust with words..????

Comment by Exmoorjane

Like Billy Connolly, my natural colouring is blue in the winter and white in the summer with a few freckles thrown in. I have never been able to tan (didn’t really burn either) – not even when I lived in the South of France – and gave up trying long ago.

I can’t stand the smell of those new self-tanning creams so will remain pale and interesting.

Comment by Bela

ROFL! Love it. Until they can make a natural-looking self-tanner or bronzer (tanned skin is brown, not “golden”), I too will stick to my own natural color. Strike that: I will never use self-tanner, even if they find a way to make it non-reeking. Too much work.

Comment by WinterWheat

i just knew this post would bring all my pallid brothers and sisters out from under their rocks

i’m ever more inspired now and am thinking of suggesting a collaborative mass baring of white flesh with spencer tunick


Comment by Urban Chick

look! see! his website (follow link above) even gives you the opportunity to state your flesh tone!

brother spencer! come and join the fold!

Comment by Urban Chick

I can’t select mine: ‘blue’ is not listed on the website.

Comment by Bela

my midnight tan thanks you for your support! šŸ™‚

Comment by Justine

Ooh, I second, third and fourth this motion!

Comment by Valerie

While I too sport the celtic skin tones I do find guilty pleasure in relaxing in the sun…with sunscreen of course! Plus it brings out all my freckles!

Comment by irishkat

my backside alone could stave off global warming for many decades. Shall I just stick it out of the window?

Comment by GreatSheElephant

“Being pale
Having a body with an above average surface area”

Hooray, I’m saving the world!

Comment by 9/10ths Full of Penguins

Smothered my vast amounts of fish belly white flesh with fake tan and the husband said ‘What the f***k have you done? You don’t look like you anymore.’ Saving the planet here too.

Comment by @themill

Hey, clearly you live in the UK. Can you tell me if women still do NOT shave their legs? I spent five weeks in London back in 1988 for a Journalism class. I live in the States.

I remember seeing such well dressed women on the Tube in the middle of summer with terribly hairy legs. Such a strange site!

Is that still in vogue? Do tell.

Comment by cardiogirl

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