Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Magnesium White" at Wansee Beach

Strandbad Wansee

Today I went to Wansee beach with the kids I take care of. It was super fun and to add to that, it was a gorgeous day. I packed all my beach paraphanalia this morning, sunglasses, snacks, change of clothes and of course ... the bathing suit. I put it in my bag trying to ignore the anxious knot in my stomach caused by its presence. I used to hate wearing a bathing suit (and even skirts for that matter) because I hated my legs. I used to think they were not straight enough. Now I don't mind them so much anymore, but I have another issue. My skin. Yes, I have very fair skin. Porcelain skin, some have said. Overall, I like it. I like my white skin - except when I have to wear a bathing suit. It's not so much my face or shoulder or back or arm skin that bothers me, but my abdominal and leg skin is a problem. Because those areas don't get much exposure, they are super white. Really white. Pasty white. Practically green. Almost glowing! I'm so conscious of it, I feel like I'll blind people with it. And there's not much to do about it. I'm to lazy for regular spray tans. Maybe once in a while, here and there, but I know I'll never maintain it. Plus, it's fake. Turns me off a bit. And as it fades away, it can get blotchy. Maintaining it is too much work, whether professionally or DIY-ing it from an aerosol can. I'm also not a big fan of tanning booths or prolonged baking sessions in the sun due to the skin damage these cause. That means I'm doomed to accept my intensely white skin until a better fake tan technology comes about. Or I could live somewhere really sunny and let nature take its course. Even then, I would always be white ... but at least after a couple of years I'd be acceptably white.

Anyways ... I wore the bathing suit, a yellow and brown flower patterned two piece, and I paraded across the beach in my glow suit. I don't think I caused any severe cases of blindness today, but who knows. The main thing is that I had a fun day and got to lounge a bit in those charming beach baskets.

And then, this evening, I was reading my book, and came across this sentence: "The girl was pretty and nervous, the boy was large and pale, almost magnesium white in the morning sun." MAGNESIUM WHITE! Amazing. I've tried to describe my pale skin in many ways. Some ways insult it, some ways praise it ... but describing it as magnesium white is bad ass! I think from now on I will think of my skin as magnesium white and describe it as such.

Here are some facts about magnesium:

- Magnesium is the 11th most abundant element by mass in the human body; its ions are essential to all living cells.
- Magnesium is a fairly strong, silvery-white, light-weight metal. It tarnishes slightly when exposed to air, although unlike the alkali metals, storage in an oxygen-free environment is unnecessary because magnesium is protected by a thin layer of oxide which is fairly impermeable and hard to remove.
- Magnesium is a highly flammable metal, and once ignited, difficult to extinguish.
- Spices, nuts, cereals, coffee, cocoa, tea, and green leafy vegetables are rich sources of magnesium.
- Aluminum-Magnesium alloys are praised for their lightness and strength.
- The bright white light produced by burning magnesium contains ultraviolet light that can permanently damage the retinas of the eyes.

So yes, my skin is magnesium white. Somehow, that's funny, fitting, and empowering.



  1. The british call your skin alabaster skin. And there was a time where women went to the most amazing extremes to try and have such a skin... So there you go! Be proud!

  2. Hahaha.....I love you Holly!
    Which book was that from? I feel like I've read that passage also?....

  3. B: I think I posted a comment after yours ... but it's not there. Anyways, thanks for the encouragement =) I've heard that fact before too, but unfortunately, in our times women go to great lengths to try and have tanned skin. What's up with that!?? Born at the wrong time! lol!

    Anna: heeheeeheee =) The book is called "One Day" by David Nicholls. It's about the story of two people's lives. The are friends. But it's told by describing the events of one day in their lives, July 15th, but over a span of twenty years ... it's pretty good so far.