Updated: Aug 23, 2019
I grew up in a small, white town that no one has ever heard of. While most of my peers were white, my Irish self managed to be the whitest of them all, making me an easy target for bullying. People began calling me "albino" at age 9.
In high school I was surrounded by the most beautiful black and Latina women that all the boys were crazy about. It felt like a final confirmation to the Casper Kid that pale people were simply not beautiful.
So I began spray tanning.
The tans smelled like raw meat but in my mind, it was a small cost for a big reward. I convinced myself that tanning was as trivial and necessary as painting your nails. After all, spay tans do make your eyes look brighter, lips look pinker and your body look thinner. What’s wrong with that?
For any devoted spray tanners reading, know this: There is nothing wrong with using artificial means to accessorize your beauty as long as you know how insanely beautiful you are without them. I did not know how beautiful I was. The problem was not that I loved sprayed tanning. The problem was that I hated my pale skin.
One day, a music teacher very gently and matterofactly asked me, “Why do you always get spray tans?” I told him the truth, “Because I’m pale.” His response, which I will never forget, was, “Yeah. You are. But that’s who you are.”
Later in life I would learn that in Africa, skin bleaching cream is sold to make dark skin appear lighter and that in every culture, someone is told their natural skin color isn't good enough.
There will always be a bullshit majority telling you how ugly you are, and it’s a load of crap designed to benefit the beauty industry. As long as you feel ugly, you'll buy beauty products from the industry and they'll profit. In every school there will be bullies who taunt you because of their own insecurities and self-esteem issues. As long as you feel ugly, they feel empowered.
I’m proud of my paleness because it is a reflection of my Irish and German ancestry and equally, dark skinned people should be proud of their melanin. Another reason I no longer spray tan is because of the toxic chemicals used in the mixture. Kave conversations about ingredients can be found on www.kavelifestyle.com. Never forget the beauty in simplicity. Always remember your kave self is simply beautiful just as you are!