Thursday, 16 October 2014

A whiter shade of pale.

Like most blokes these days, I'm a sucker for creams and lotions that promise to keep me from cracking up under the strain of the sun and other natural phenomenon, collectively determined to reduce my body to the appearance of dried corn flakes stuck to a an over-weight skeleton.  Don't get me wrong I've not gone down the whole 'Metro-sexual' route, I can still get in and out of the bathroom in fifteen minutes, but if you look at the shelf in there it does look like a research centre for the Laboratoires Garnier.

Naturally you have the shaving gel (not foam, it has to be gel), face cream, hand lotion, foot softener, hair gel (not really a cream), after shave (again, not really a cream..), sun cream (x2, winter and summer) and toothpaste.  Not too indulgent really?  I put it down to living in the middle east and the Baz Luhrmann song from 1999 Everybody's free (to wear sunscreen).  There is no doubt that sun + wind = dryness, hence the desert, so I feel obliged to protect myself at every opportunity.

Seeing I was running low on the face cream recently, my wife kindly offered to pick some up during a shopping trip.  I'm no slave to a brand, unless the brand is called 'Special offer' or 'Buy one get one free', I'm not even convinced that these various lotions are any different to each other, so she had free reign with regard to choice.

Upon her return I was initially confused as to why she had bought a diminutive tube of toothpaste?  Not wishing to complain, as let's be honest, if someone does you favour and buys something for you, saying 'it's not the right thing?' is a quick way of wearing the entire contents on your head, with immediate effect.  So I took a closer look, '10x whitening effect', must be toothpaste?  But no, it is face cream, designed to protect and lighten the skin, an entirely new concept to me.  

It does exactly what it says on the tin..
I should mention that when I'm filling out a form and I get to the bit at the end which asks 'This is not a compulsory question, but where are you from and what colour are you?', I tick 'White European'.  Becoming whiter was not on my to do list, in fact I'm aiming for the opposite.  Let me give you an example.  When we first got here we had to produce a bundle of passport style photos for various I.D. cards.  My wife was called in to the office and asked if she could get more photos of me looking 'a bit darker', as my white face was blending in with the white background?  You see my problem?

Moreover, we visit the beach most weekends and every time we see a host of tourists trying their hardest to change their white skin to brown, it had never occurred to me that some people may want to go the other way?  I always thought that whole Michael Jackson thing was a modern myth?  I appreciate that there is a host of products available to change the colour of your hair, but your face??

But fair (get it?!) enough, whatever floats your boat, but now a moral dilemma, do I use it, throw it away or give it to someone else?  It has been said that I am careful with money, I'm paraphrasing, I think the actual words were 'tighter than a duck's chuff', so throwing it away is not an option.  Difficult to give it to someone else without seeing the sub-text of 'he thinks I'm too brown, what a racist'..  So I'm using it, which explains my current translucent state.  A friend (you know who you are JK..) suggested that I use it on only one half of my face, so we can see a before and after effect, I say friend..

Besides, I'm not in possession of a colour chart showing me the different shades of white?   How would I know if I was 10x lighter, how does anyone know?  I've been using toothpaste which promises to make my teeth whiter in 15 days, but I've never checked to see if it's worked.  So I think I'm going to have to take it on the chin (oh there's another!) and buy some ordinary cream, or soon I'm going to be rocking the Elizabeth I look.  

Besides my skin is getting confused, 'whitening during the week, sunning himself at the weekend?  Make your mind up mate!'.

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