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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candace on

all of these woman look gorgeous!

faith on

To Jacki and everyone else who bemoans freckles: What is so wrong with freckles??? I really don’t get it and find it silly! For someone who is fair, freckles are often a natural reaction to the sun’s rays even if you DO have sunscreen on. I love that there finally seems to be some good press for a skin color other than tan, but why is there always something else that has to be picked on? It’s a freckle. Not a boil. Or a flesh eating disease. Or even a zit. A freckle. A “tan” that comes up in a spot rather than an entire area.

Monique on

What happened to doing things in moderation as a good choice for a healthy lifestyle? I was sure that sun in moderation with it’s good properties of vitamins was also recommended? A healthy sun glow is far more sexy than plain white skin. It does make you look very plain.
I believe in protecting your skin from anti-pollutants but a beautiful smile with a healthy glow has my vote ;-)

Ashley on

Monique–yes sun has vitamins. Which can be absorbed while wearing SUNSCREEN, to prevent the UV rays that cause tan AND damage. There is no such thing as a “healthy” glow–the glow from a tan is actually dead skin cells. How much sexier is that than pale skin??

Danna on

its really nice to see that the look is coming in… the tanning booths are ridiculous! i call them cancer booths this will be great for your skin in the long run!

sabrina on

I love being fair-skinned. I am an older sibling from an Irish family of tanners. I don’t tan, though I don’t hide indoors all the time either. When my sisters and I are together, people automatically think I’m the younger of all of them because the sun has aged all of them so much. That makes me a believer.

sabrina on

I love the shirts, though I’d wear them if they were black. We fair-skinned girls love dark colors!

Alicia on

Wow, this seems to be a hot issue. Personally, I wish I could pull off the pale look-and on many occasion I’ve tried. I’ve limited UV exposure, worn hats, sunscreens etc. UV-free tanners made me look like a rotten orange no matter which brand and Mystic spray tans did the same. Maybe some of you who are embracing this “Pale is the new tan” philosophy can offer me some suggestions because I am really looking for a way to make this work. Without a bit of “tan” I literally look ill. People start asking me if I’m feeling okay, inquire about my health behind my back (really, and celebrities think the paparazzi are bad!) and I sense that they are genuinely concerned. I am a very healthy person, I follow an extremely healthy diet (organics, raw foods, high quality protein, etc.), I exercise, I get plenty of rest- but HOLY COW do I ever look bad without a tan. If you have ever been nicknamed “Casper” for being pale/white, you could call me “Puke” because my skin starts to take on a green tinge-seriously. So, you know what, condemn tanners all you want but I’d rather wear my sunscreen, get moderate UV exposure and not look like “Puke”…unless someone has a better suggestion (other than to embrace my greenish skin).

Bunky on

I think Vanessa’s characterization of pale skin as “uncooked” pretty much says it all. Human skin really should stay raw. Many a missionary learned this the hard way.

Andrea on

Zooey’s bag is a Coach Legacy bag- this one is not available anymore but try the fall version in leather and can be found at

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