I don’t like to tan. I don’t get mega protective and cover all my exposed skin when I go out in the sun, nor do I wear a wide-brimmed hat when I am exposed, but I have never been and never be one of those people who likes to rub coconut or tanning oil all over their bodies and roast in the sun on the beach. I think it’s pretty revolting. When people say you have a “healthy tan” it’s such an oxymoron given the damage the sun does to your skin. When I tan, it’s usually in spite of my broad-spectrum SPF 30-50 and because I’m in a hot, humid, and sunny place far away.

So I came back to work today, and one of the first things someone exclaims during video conference (from SF) is, “wow, Yvonne! You’re so tan!”

I immediately recoiled… and laughed, and said that was really not my intention. She didn’t really get my reaction, and I just said that I prefer not to get darker skinned. Slightly awkward. But it’s okay because I can deal with it.

Maybe that’s just the really Asian side of me, to not want to be “tan.” I won’t be like the women in Asia who want “white” skin and go out with parisoles during the summer to block the sun’s rays from hitting their skin — that’s a bit extreme for me. But I rather be lighter skinned — in other words, what I am naturally supposed to be, rather than dark-skinned. I don’t even think my natural skin tone is supposed to be white, especially with my mother being Vietnamese.

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