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Beyond Pale

>> Friday, April 25, 2008

I’m a white girl.

There, I’ve said it. You see, for many, many years I tried to convince others that I was a bronze goddess and spent much time in tanning beds and the sun maintaining the permanent skin damage required to give me that “healthy glow”.

A few years ago I finally began to listen to the reports about the sun’s damaging rays and the rise of melanoma. Of course it helped that a friend of mine had a pretty serious lesion removed. So then I began the annoying process of slathering my body with self tanner to maintain that “glow”. And I began wearing sunscreen daily.

Now I am noticing the effects those years of sun have taken on my face and chest. Self tanner only seems to make the problem more noticeable as it clings to some spots more than others. Yuck.

This year I have decided that I’m just going to give up and embrace my “white-ness”. With age comes the wisdom I guess, to embrace what you actually are and not spend so much time trying to be something you are not.

So in addition to my sunscreen for every part of my body I am also making an investment in sun protective clothing. With two active girls you can bet I’ll be outside a lot and not everywhere I go will have shade.

I found a company called ANAYA that makes UV protective clothing – dresses, skirts, pants and tops. They have options whether you stay at home with the kiddos or work in an office.

I really like their shirt dress and their pants look very comfortable but not schlumpy. Their garments are tested and certified by the Australian/New Zealand Standard 4399 (people who know about sun) based on a combination of protection and comfort. Every one of their garments comes with the standard certification label.

Although their clothes may cost me a little more I think it’s going to be a good investment- the dermatologist bills to undo even bits of the damage I’ve already done are much higher.

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