The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sunburns: The Curse my Ancesters Wrought

            Though the exact country of origin of my ancestors is not entirely known to me, I can state with absolute confidence that a great number of them undoubtedly came from the whitest parts of Western Europe. Unfortunately for me, that means that they were not conditioned for direct sunlight, or for that matter, sunlight of any kind. If I wear short sleeves or (gods forbid) a tank-top outside, I won’t tan. I won’t color. I will burn.

            Those who aren’t cursed with any sort pigment inadequacy will often make profound statements of ignorance like, “Can’t you just wear sunscreen?” I usually allow such comments to pass without protest. After all, it’s not their fault. They don’t understand that sunscreen might as well be snake oil for all the good it does. How could they? They’ve never been sunburned.

            For those of us who have either extremely short hair or none at all, by choice or by biology, the sun is an even greater nemesis. If you don’t wear a hat, your scalp will get burned. You will be reminded of said burn every time you take a shower. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous you look in hats. It doesn’t matter that you don’t even own a hat. You either wear one, or peel skin chips off the top of your head.

            Though it’s generally a faux pas to speak ill of the dead, I must question the reasoning of my eggshell white ancestors when they chose to move to a country where temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees. Why would you leave the cloudy, luke warm, skin cancer free country of origin to come to a region which seems committed to your misery. At least have the common courtesy to selectively breed some pigmentation into the population before you come over in droves. Is that really too much to ask?

            Apparently so. Their absurd whiteness spread inescapably to me, and now I have to live with the consequences of their indiscretions. I’m forced to either stay in or wear long sleeves on hot days. On the rare occasions when I go to the beach, I have to move from shade to shade, avoiding direct sunlight as much as possible (I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a beach, but avoiding sunlight at one is incredibly difficult). Alas, it seems all I can do is suffer in silence and try to tune out the chorus of pigment-rich voices asking, “Did you try wearing sunscreen?”



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home