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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Bella on

I think this “trend” is stupid. You can’t say blonds are hotter or pale skin is hotter–it REALLY depends on the individual and what works best with them. This trend will only lead to girls and skin bleaching like some stars already do (not all girls are fair skinned or even pale paper). If protecting your skin from skin cancer is the inspiration, then they should come up with a different motto. This is like saying blond hair is hot and young, and we all know that not all blonds are hot. Plus, genes have more to do with skin and aging than the sun, because have you ever seen a pale 60 year old who might look 40 or younger? Lets be real and truthful!

Bella on

I also think if there is this “pale is the new tan” trend aside from it’s cancer fearing motivations, its because of the current popularity of stars like Rachel Mcadams or American Idol Katherine McPhee. Why do real girls always have to reflect what’s popular on film. I’d like to think that film and art imitates real life not the other way around. Also, if girls were not tanning because they want to spare their health for the future, what about breast implants now? I know some people who would rather look good in their prime than take the chance of maybe or maybe not looking good into their seniors.

Bella on

FYI: I work as a fledging star publicist and do some of you think it’s weird that Rachel Mcadams now has a stipulation in her star contract that she has to keep a pale look because that is the image that she is supposed to portrayal? What if the girl likes a sunkissed glow? She can’t even be true to herself because her fans bashed her on feedback during a recent appearance on Conan O Brian where she was sprayed with bronzer and had golden hair. I think saying that you have to look a certain way is weird and is much to think about how we are influenced as a society

Shasha on

I think that the people in the skin are what counts.Im naturally tan and I think fair skin is really pretty so I dont know why someone would want to be orange and at risk for skin cancer

Elise on

Jennifer, I find it interesting that you assume a guy won’t love pale skin and that he would only possibly do so if he has pale skin himself. Guys often love things we don’t, which is why we are attracted to them and they are attracted to us. And why would a guy having pale skin make him like a girl’s better? Often people are attracted to the things that are different from themselves. For example, my husband has beautiful dark skin, which I love. He always tells me he loves my “white” skin. In the beginning I thought it was insulting, because I think of “white” skin as being ugly. But he was surprised I thought that and assured me that he loves white, pale skin and that is one reason he thinks I’m beautiful – what an eye opener for me!

All this and he has dark skin… we love the contrast when our skin is side by side!

Melanie on

Pale/fair skin is lovely. The fashion for tanned skin is a relatively recent occurence-all throughout history until app the Thirties,women aspired to have pale creamy complexions. Even through the Twenties women would powder their skin-face,neck,shoulders,and arms-when getting dressed to go out. A fair complexion showed that you didn’t have to do manual labor outdoors. It would be nice to once again see the variety of beautiful peaches and cream,strawberries and cream, or a lovely magnolia complexion,rather than the ubiquitous bronzed(or orange!) skin that’s been the trend for a few decades. It will also be nice,in the coming years,to see older women again with beautiful soft fair skins rather than the tanned cowhide we’ve become so familiar with. Everyone can picture those older ladies who burned themselves to toast for years,who now have skins like an old piece of dried up beef jerky. Our grandmothers were smarter than us in this respect,and had the beautiful complexions to prove it.

Vicky on

I think pale can be attractive to a certain extent. I am very pale though and find that fake tan can make me more confident. I refuse to use sun beds as i know that my pale skin makes me more sensitive to UV rays and I wouldn’t usually condone fake tan either because it can make you orange, but I’v actually just started using tinted moisturiser and it works wonders! It adds a tiny amount of tan everyday so its not too drastic and I don’t look orange. And it moisturises my skin and it feels really soft. My only problem with it is that it does have a slight smell but I actually quite like it! lol

amy on

im a pale girl too. i can tan, but it never winds up very dark, and i thank god for that. who wants to wind up with cancer when im 40 just because of a hot craze when i was in my teens? what annoys me the most is that when i used to wear shorts to work (as a part of the uniform i was given) the orientals and spanish would tease me about my white legs. forgive me for being white. i didnt know it was such an offense. PALE IS THE NEW TAN. hopefully.

Matt on

Hmm. It seems all of our posters thus far have been ladies; I hope you don’t mind my adding my masculine point of view. I’m sorry to contradict our earlier poster who claimed something along the lines of “what guy wants a girl with really pale skin?” but, err, lots of us! I have always found fair complected women exceptionally attractive, and know many other men who agree. It has always broken my heart when the girls or women I have found prettiest throughout my life complain about their complexions and say “I need to go to the tanning salon!” Oh, sinking heart; and it feels even worse when they actually do. I have always tried to dissuade them, but usually, in the past, have received incredulous looks. I’ve always found the phrase “glowing tan” an absolute oxymoron; tans are monochromatic and dull, while fair skin reflects the light and truly glows. Also, I’ve never understood the prejudice against white legs; I find them breathtakingly attractive. Don’t get me wrong, naturally dark women can be very beautiful as well, but if you are naturally fair, please don’t believe that “all guys think girls look much hotter with a tan.” It’s just not true, and I’m very glad to see this dialogue going on.

Teri on

Matt, you are SO right!

I have naturally very pale and sensitive skin and I don´t tan, I burn, and it´s so funny that most of my friends who are girls go tanning a lot and they always tell me to go and get a tan because “guys don´t like pale girls”!

and yet all of my friends who are guys always tell me to stay as pale as I am and never tan because they say “my skin is so much more attractive than the skin of those orange girls who hit the tanning bed once a week!”

So girls, wake up: PALE IS BEAUTIFUL! :)

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