Melanin Challenged

The condition of “melanin challenged” should be a federally protected disorder.  After all, getting a sunburn after 15 minutes in the sun is a dangerous problem.  I can’t tan.  Not even a little.  I turn red, then redder, then I blister.  Over a lifetime of sun exposure, my arms are a little reddish.  But my tummy has never seen the light of day.

Concrete is darker than my abdomen.  Sheesh!


I am one of those people who actually GLOW in the sun.  The white has an aura around it.  Honestly, I look like a vampire.

So what would federal protection consist of?  Well, for starters, we would get preferential treatment for shaded chairs or lounges.  We would be allowed to move our chair to the shaded area of the pool and whoever is there without a melanin challenged card would have to move.

I have to cover up if sitting in the sun.  You can find me at the pool–AFTER 3 pm–covered with pool towels in the shade.  I am the only one at Atlantis, my timeshare, cowering on my shaded lounge, covered in towels on the beach, listening to the waves.  I brave the sun to hear the waves.

( see Wave Song )

Before I started treatment for inflammatory disease I had a further sun indignity.  I would develop “sun fever” and severe fatigue if out in direct sunlight for any period of time.  Imagine having chills and fever after sitting in the sun.  Totally sucks.  I look at darker skinned people and I ENVY them.  It’s my ancestor’s fault.  I am from fairy stock–if I had “true” red hair, I would be 7th generation redhead.  I had bright red fuzz when I was born but it quickly turned blonde, then eventually cinnamon honey.  Cinnamon colored hair, though, it not considered “true red”, so I don’t get the designation.  But I am whiter then any redhead I know.

I am happy to say that my daughter inherited my husbands darker skin.  She can tan in about 20 minutes.  Lucky her.  My son, though, is all Irish, but he can get a little light color.  The other day he came to me, gleeful.

“Look mom, I have a TAN!”

I looked–and looked.  “Um, you mean the one shade darker on your arm?”

“It’s not just one shade, it’s a TAN!”

“HAHAHAHA, no son, that shade of off white is not a tan.  Sorry, you got my genes.  Now go put on some sunscreen!”

5 comments on “Melanin Challenged

  1. I hear you. I’m kinda ginge…..hmmm strawberry blonde, oh and Oirish so I’m paler than a sheet of paper. I hate the sun, mainly because heat rash loves me. I go red, redder and then back to white too, excluding the patches with the heat rash rash lol

    • Isnt it bizarre how the sun affects some people? For people with Lupus, the sun increases the disease activity. Bizarre. I wonder if Lupus was a problem in caveman days? I don’t know how they could have survived hunting and gathering in the bright sunshine! I know how they stopped sunburn. Birch bark can be rubbed off and applied to the skin. Takes care of bug bites as well! Ahh, nature. We just don’t appreciate what it can do for us.

  2. […] I quickly found that summer sunlight exposure is viscious.  I have chronicled my sun woes in Melanin Challenged  and a twenty minute swim the first day left me with a huge sunburn.  I have been slinking around […]

  3. I always get a Farmer’s Tan – halfway up the arm and just my neck – I look like an Embarrassed Disco Raccoon!

    • Well, goofy, take you shirt off and you wont look that way! A boon for your neighbors! Pictures appreciated! LOL!
      At least you CAN tan. I just get redder and redder. Splotchy red is not attractive!

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