Tonight in the shower I found myself staring down at my body with a little embarrassment. Not because of the usual suspects like cellulite and love handles. No, this time it was my skin tone. I’m a natural redhead and I was blessed with milky white skin (much to my dismay), but my natural skin tone is rarely seen. The only exception to that would normally be the 24 hours before my next spray tan appointment when I vigorously scrub and exfoliate any remains of last week’s glow away, ready for a new one to take its place. And while I await my next spray tan I hide away from the world in long sleeves and pants. All errands may resume once I am fully developed and back to a healthy medium glow. 

Does this sound shallow to you?

Well, let me say this. After the birth of my son when I was 32 years old I instantaneously found a whole new respect for my body. This body of mine that I had put through years of crash dieting and self judgment had just spent 9 months cooking the most beautiful thing I had ever set my eyes upon. I was in absolute awe of my body and vowed that day to stop focusing so much on the outer beauty and instead be thankful for the years of good health and memories that this body had given me.

I gave birth by emergency C-Section so I didn’t have a spray tan for the first 6 weeks following my son’s birth (that and the fact I was living on 2 hours sleep). I very much deserted my regular beauty regime during those first couple of months. No nail appointments. No eyelash appointments. No hair appointments. No spray tans. But the only thing that really got me down during that time was looking in the mirror day after day and seeing my dull, lifeless, tired skin looking back at me. I was desperate for a spray tan. That first spray tan postpartum made me feel like a new woman. I was still sleep deprived and covered in baby throw-up but somehow now I looked put together and thriving in this new role. This is how every single spray tan I’ve ever had has made me feel. I feel as fabulous now after a spray tan as I did after my first spray tan 20 years ago. 

Following the birth of my son I embraced a journey of self love to finally feel comfortable in my own skin. Now my son is 4 years old and I’m happy to leave the house makeup free, hair unbrushed, sweats on and not give it a second thought – providing I have my spray tan. That is my crutch. My armor for the outside world. My confidence boost.

My paleness just isn’t something I embrace. 

I love myself. I love my body. I respect my body. I’m grateful for my whole self. The pretty bits and not so pretty bits. But my pale skin just isn’t something I adore. I truly feel like myself when I have a perfectly applied spray tan. And that’s not to say that one day I might not ‘embrace the paleness’ but today isn’t that day.