In Praise of Pale Girls

08/09/2006 at 04:45 PM ET

As the summer starts winding down, and beach devotees like Lindsay and Matthew gear up to make the most of the ending the season, we’d like to take a moment to salute those stars who have wisely steered away from tanning. Zooey Deschanel, Bryce Dallas Howard and Liv Tyler join the list of other cream complexion beauties like Nicole Kidman and Marcia Cross who are as pale in August as they are in December. To keep your skin freckle-free, try Neutrogena’s Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock in SPF 45 (one of our must-haves!). You can also show your support of the non-tanning (and non skin-damaging) trend by picking up their Pale Is The New Tan tee shirt at, for $25; $3 from every sale benefits the American Cancer Society.

To see more of our favorite beauty trends click here

Photos:TSUNI/GAMMA; Roger Wong/INFGoff; Jemal Countess/WireImage

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Showing 67 comments

Bunky on

I like to think of them as “fair”. Guys are “pale”. Women get to be “fair”.

nicole s on

Thank goodness that there are role models out there that are not addicted to tanning, or “buying cancer” to be more specific. These women are beautiful, and smart

sam on

i love zooey deschanel’s bag in this photo! where can i find it?

Andrea on

Surprisingly, there is still quite a lot of pressure to go tanning in my middle 20s- tannorexic girl friends perpetuated by quite a few unnecesary comments by 20-something men claiming that tan women look “much hotter”. I thought maturity was a natural progression after college, guess I was wrong.

Joy on

As someone who grew up with the nickname of Casper, I applaud you for praising my fellow pale or fair girlfriends. I never leave the house without SPF 45 on and these ladies daring to do the same may some day usher in an age of acceptance for those of us who aren’t “bronzed,” “sun-kissed” or “sporting a healthy glow.”

And as a bonus, they’ll still be working with flawless skin 40 years from now while the tanaholics will be fighting for the latest microdermabrasion treatments.

Nancy on

Thank you … as a natural redhead… more outside, lighter hair, out of the sun… mid dark auburn… I never was a ‘tanner’, our version of tan is various shades of pink or red… now at 45, I still have good skin with very few wrinkles… a few tiny ones by my eyes, but nothing on my forhead or mouth/cheeks area. Friends that have been sunworshippers through the years look older than me even though I’m 8 years older than them.

Sonja on

As a fair-skinned girl, I am so glad to see a non-tanning trend! I spend a lot of time out in the sun, but not without my SPF-15. I look sun-kissed, but certainly not tan. When I look around at other girls of light complexions who obviously slave over their tans, I can’t help but think of how painful and unhealthy it looks!

Hooray for a healthy look!

Beth on

Porceline skin is not only healthier, its so much sexier! Hats off to all the Nicole Kidman’s out there – they not only look better now, in 50 years the Lindsay Lohen’s will be wishing they could trade in their wrinkling and blotching skin for us pale girl’s beautiful flawless skin!

Susan on

Thank you for this piece! As a fellow “Casper” in my younger years (and also Powder on occasion), it is so nice to finally see fair skin recognized as a thing of beauty. I learned to embrace it and am happy to see that society might finally be learning to embrace it, too.

Alexandra on

I love the look of fair skinned women. It is very beautiful. I’m only 15 and I’ve never once in my short life even touched a tanning booth. My dad is Greek so when I do go out I get a little tan, but my mother is all fair European so I ended up having kind of fair skin. I burn, then it kind of turns to a tan. My little brother on the other hand, never burns and he has been out playing in the sun so much this summer that he is literally brown. Keep in mind he was also wearing sunscreen.
I love seeing the contrast of dark brown hair and a creamy complexion. Or a flaming redhead with super fair skin.

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