The other day I found myself in a situation that will ring true to many of you: alone at the beach and reluctantly accepting that a portion of my back is going to get sunburnt.
Because no matter how hard I try to stretch my arms behind my back, flailing them around like some deranged spider, I’m going to miss that ONE spot.
And no matter how closely I monitor my timer to ensure I don’t sun the area for too long, I’m going to end up with a bizarre red shape stamped near my shoulders, moulded by the outlines of desperate fingers. The Australian sun does not mess around. Just ask the Cancer Council.
And no matter how many times I Google ‘hacks to apply sunscreen on your back’, I will never find anything that’s practical.
Lathering up with a paint roller? No thanks. Get better at yoga? Too much effort. Dabbing some sunscreen in the centre of a section of clingwrap and rubbing it side-to-side like it’s a towel? You lost me at clingwrap. The trusty toilet brush and washcloth combo? … Christ almighty.
But I’m not one to give up. There has to be another way.
And as I gazed around the beach that day, I noticed I was certainly not the only loner with a sunburn in the making.
So we here at Mamamia decided we need a PACT, ladies. A pact that says we will agree to help each other out when one of us is alone at the beach or the pool.
A pact that gives me the confidence to stride up to another woman and ask her to slather some sunscreen onto my back — and would she by any chance need the same.
And look, I’m not here to guilt trip you. It’s okay to say no if the idea of massaging a stranger’s back weirds you out too much, but be cool about it. Make up an excuse. Your hands are too wet and sandy. You’re allergic to Banana Boat. You don’t speak English. Your dog ate your homework. ANYTHING. Because fear of judgment is this pact’s kryptonite.
Sometimes – and this is especially the case for those who don’t work 9-to-5 Monday through Friday – your only option for lazing by the pool or at the beach is to go by yourself.
And right then and there, you become a person in need.
We’re calling it the Sunscreen A Sister pact. We need to share the hell out of it to get the word out – and protect your precious skin. Because YOLO. Really.