Six struggles only pale people will understand.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Banana Boat

Yep, I’ve heard them all before.

“Can you stick your leg out next to mine so I can show everyone how tanned I am?”

“We don’t need a flash – Kate’s here!”

I’m a pale person. Fair. Irish background. Reddish hair. And the pigmentationally challenged amongst us, will understand all of these struggles.

1. I sat with the old aunties and nanas at family BBQs because they were in the shade.

In the 80s, large extended families often congregated in public parks where the adults would sit in the shade talking, drinking and eating, and the kids would spend the entire time whizzing around the park, playing chasy and climbing up trees. Or… if you were astute and wiser than your ten years, chatting to Auntie Mon about the contents of her fruitcake. It’s a shade thing.

2. I read books under the beach umbrella as a kid instead of joining in the giant digging session on the shore.

While I appeared again to be ahead my time and extremely self-contained for a child, I was secretly yearning to get my hands onto some wet sandy action. I just couldn’t cope with the amount of direct sunlight such an open-ended project required.

pale skin problems
A rare image of Kate with her daughter not under shade. Image: supplied.

3. I volunteered to be Silly Mid On for entire backyard cricket matches.

It was in the shade, and my brothers found it convenient. Mostly I would just pray quietly that I wouldn’t get hit and/or shut my eyes. A win-win right?

4. A family day at the cricket in the heat of summer sent me into a fear spiral.

Where would the shade be? Could I convince Mum to bring her beach umbrella? What if I wore a sombrero? Or would I blend in better with head to toe sleeves, zinc and a bucket hat, just like a cricketer? My solution was to sweat it out under a daggy hat and accompany any adults traversing to the toilets, food stations or bar for some sweet sun-free relief. Cricket – what cricket?

pale skin problems
Kate’s only view of the sky. Image via iStock.

5. I used bronzer over my entire body.

When bronzer first came out in my early teens, I was an enthusiastic early adopter. I applied liberally, particularly on the cheeks, but also extending to the clavicle, arms, heck and why not, the legs. Thus, leaving traces of myself all over the house, my clothes and bed linen. If you needed to find me at a party, you could just follow the trail of smudges on furniture, cups and passers by.

6. I would ALWAYS opt for the public pool over the beach on 30+ degree-days.

There were just so many more options. Icy poles were served under shaded canteens, the grass was infinitely more tolerable than hot sand anyway and shade… Trees. Shade cloths. Covered stadiums. It was made for my kind.

My kind now includes my daughter, who has inherited this challenging skin tone.

Thankfully, a lot has changed since the pre-SPF era. We are now in a time of smart, no fuss sun protection that does what it says on the bottle.

pale skin problems
Kate and her daughter. Image: supplied.

With Banana Boat, we can have fun in the sun as a family, all day long.  There’s a product that’s perfect for any outdoor activity and it’s proven to stay on in all sorts of conditions including sun, sand, wind, sweat, water, and heat.

With more five-year-olds able to play computer games than swim these days, it’s so important that kids today are encouraged to play outside and be active with out impediment. And if you needed a bit more inspiration to get the family outdoors, Banana Boat has launched the More Fun Outside website full of great tools, ideas and resources to do just that.

So fortunately my daughter now doesn’t have to deal with many of the struggles I did growing up pale. Except for potentially the bronzer application when her teenage years arrive. But I’ll be there with the fake tan applicator if it comes to that.

How will you have more fun outside with your kids this summer?