Make no mistake about it, I have two normal enough legs in good working order.  They do exactly what they are meant to do.  It is just that when summer rolls around I am very aware that they are not quite the colour I’d like them to be.  I have very fair skin, with freckles on face and arms, and I burn easily and tan very little.  This was a problem growing up in the Mediterranean – I was always aware I had the wrong skin colour.  And whereas there has always been a role for very white skin (“skin like cream,” suggestions in Turkish poetry of growing up in a palace), my legs aren’t really white.  You see, I’m Scottish.  My natural skin colour is a sort of cold mottled blue, and it takes me a week of sunbathing to go white.  I even tried programmes of gentle daily sunbathing as a teenager, but the best result I ever got still left me with white calves, pale fawn shins, and a very dark patch on each foot that made it look as if I hadn’t washed for a few weeks.  Now, as I’m getting older, the skin on my legs is no more tolerant of sunshine but has taken on more of a red,white and blue mottled effect.  Very patriotic, but not fashionable.

So, when I saw the supermarket had a special offer of some body lotion with a gentle tanning agent I bought some.  I’d read recommendations of this brand, and indeed my mother (who tans nicely anyway) had used some herself with good results.  I bought the one for fair skin, supposed to give a light tanned look, this developing after around 4 days use.  I used it on my legs (just once).  It developed overnight and the next day I had dark brown patches on my knees.  Avoiding my knees I applied it again.  Now I look as if I got into an argument with a bottle of foundation.  Orange-tinged foundation. 

I wonder what will come into fashion first:  orange streaked legs, or red,white and blue mottled ones?

All is vanity. . .


1 Comment

Filed under At Home

One response to “vanity

  1. How funny!
    Don’t know about the orange streaked legs–that has always been my fear when it comes to those tanning lotions. Orange and i are not good for each other. At least it was not your face.
    I would love to have a little tan–maybe I’ll try the sun instead.
    The house we are renting for my Father-in-law has a pool–so maybe I’ll get some exercise and some sun.

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