Thursday, May 01, 2008

Namowal's Ghost

"There's Namowal's Ghost!" a catty gal in my college dorm would say. "She looks awful! If only she'd get some color! " Catty Gal went to the tanning salon regularly. So did friends. The only person who didn't say I was too white was my dermatologist. My light freckling meant I was getting too much sun. He insisted use sunblock daily.
In the late 1980s, a marshmallow complexion was uncool. Self tanners looked orange and streaky on me, so I was stuck with the vanilla soft serve look. Friends goofed on me, and even strangers sometimes called me "Snow White" or "Casper."
Flash forward twenty years later. The pasty look doesn't stand out the way it did in the eighties. I know sun worshipers in their twenties with more wrinkles than me. I guess the dermatologist was right.
I'll end this post with an open letter.

Dear People Who Made Fun of Me for Not Getting a Tan in the 1980s,

We're almost forty. I still get carded. How about you?


Namowal's Ghost


Linda said...

This is my favorite post you've ever posted.
Plus ... what a great, refreshing illo. I love it!

stray g said...

I, too, love this post! I have always been pale (or red from sunburn as a kid). Now I wear hats and sunscreen or avoid mid-day sun. When I met my sweet husband, he told me he loves white skin--that it's like Marilyn Monroe's!

Namowal said...

Wow, thanks, Linda! Some other people I showed (the picture) too were unimpressed. The fact that you liked it made my day!
Hi Stray g. I guess we both come in two colors- vanilla or strawberry ;)
Back when I was substitute teaching, I'd put a touch of self tanner on my face since it was spring. Some smartass sixth grader said: "How come you used to be white and now you're orange?"

booda baby said...

I have no idea what technique you used, but I really liked the texture on this piece.

I think I was steeped in too much literature. As an outside/outdoorsy athlete, I could hardly avoid getting too much sun and ALWAYS had color. But I always thought pale was ... ethereal. Wait. That's a lie. I did NOT think that if I knew the person was an inside-stayer-tv-watching-slug.

At any rate, how wonderful for you to still look fresh!!

Namowal said...

Hi BoodaBaby,
I used some impasto brushes in painter to get that effect. They're kind of hard to get used to, but fun to play with.
Speaking of outdoorsy athletic stuff, in the 1990s I used to hike a lot, but at dusk, so no sun for me.