Thursday, May 20, 2010


"WHY ARE YOU SO DARK?!?!" (in Mandarin) - My mom every time she sees me after not seeing me for a long time.

My mom really values pale skin on her daughter, which is really unfortunate because I spend so much time outside. When I was younger, I played tennis, all year round (we can do that in good ol' Cali), and now I play ultimate, almost all year round. And even though I wore a hat when I played tennis and a visor when I play ultimate (I'm not sure why it wasn't the other way around), I still got really dark, wherever skin was exposed, during the summer months. I was also bad about wearing sunscreen when I was younger; the smell made me nauseous. But I like to think I've gotten older and wiser, and I try to remember to put on sunscreen (and reapply!) whenever I play ultimate now. I even have different sunscreens for my face and for the rest of my body!

I have what I call the "Asian skin phenomenon," which means my skin gets really dark really fast (but I don't burn!) And during the winter, my skin tone gradually lightens up and I'm more or less have my normal Asian skin state by the time spring rolls around. But when I get really dark, my tan lines become really apparent. I used to be really embarrassed of my sock tan, especially because I wore crew-cut socks so my sock tan was really high! But now I have 23 pairs of awesome low-cut Costco socks and have begun to love and appreciate my sock tan.

But sock tans aren't the only tan lines I have. I also have the roll-up-my-sleeves shoulder tan line, the neck-line tan line, and roll-up-my-5-shorts-(just once!) tan line right above my knees. Once in a while, I also get weird tan lines on my face from my visor. Most of the tanlines go away pretty quickly (my visor tan lines) or I just don't care that much about (my shorts tan line and my sock tan line), but the one I've had consistently for probably my entire life is my shoulder/chest tan lines from rolling up my sleeves or wearing halter tops or tank tops.

I don't know if you see where this is going, but my wedding dress is strapless (and too big right now, but that's a different story). And my wedding is in September, after an entire summer of running around outside.

I know what you might be thinking... "It can't be that bad, right???" Eh, wrong! Here are some pictures of me at my friend's wedding in August last year. Mind you, Daphne saw these pictures shortly after the wedding and she said, "I thought you were wearing a t-shirt under your dress!" :(

They're kinda embarrassing to look at :(

So here it is... my number one frisbee goal this summer is not to develop an awesome backhand break like Shira's, it's not to achieve a sub-7 mile time, or really push myself in every workout and practice (although those are very high-priority goals that I will be striving for), my number one frisbee goal is to not have tan lines in September. And just to clarify, the goal is to be fairly light-skinned and without tan lines. (So I can't just tan all summer because I'll be seriously dark.) Ridiculous, huh?

So, how am I going to achieve my tan-line-free and light-toned skin? I've been thinking (for several months now) about various different solutions.

1. Don't play ultimate (or do anything outside)!
Yeah, I agree that's silly. Although I could just hide inside for the entire summer and be really productive on my research, that doesn't sound very fun and I'll probably go stir-crazy.

See? Look how much fun I was having while playing in the pouring rain at Regionals? (You can't see the rain, but it was definitely raining). And I'm pretty sure I was telling a cutter, "HAH, please cut back in, I don't have that throw in these conditions." Anyway, the point is, I like playing ultimate and I still want to play this summer.

2. Tanning Booth
This was my brother's suggestion when I told him my goal was to not have tan lines. In fact, I think his exact words were, "You HAVE to go to a tanning booth. You can't have tan lines on your wedding. That'll be so horrible." Seriously, I think sometimes my brother makes a better bride than I do.

There are a few problems with this solution, the main one being I don't want skin cancer!!! Plus, this just makes my entire body darker, not necessarily getting rid of my tan lines. It's not like I can pick and choose which parts of my body goes into the tanning booth, right? I don't really know how these things work.

3. Spray-on Tanning
The tan without the skin cancer, right? The best of both worlds?

I guess with this method I can pick and choose which parts to make darker, but I don't really like the idea of it rubbing off on the dress, on other people, on everything I might touch. Has anyone actually tried this before? Sooo I think I'm going to nix this idea too.


Ok so my first three ideas are not really feasible or attractive options for me. The rest of these ideas will hopefully be do-able.

4. Hiding under a big umbrella
Whenever I'm not playing, I plan on hiding under one of these:

Jin also has a giant one so I might steal some of her shade too =P

5. Underarmour heat gear
I've been asking around whether people have actually tried UA heat gear. I figured the easiest way to not get shoulder tan lines is to not have exposed shoulders. So what if I just wore long sleeves all summer? (Which is what I've been doing so far this year.) But it's going to get a lot warmer and a lot more uncomfortable to wear long sleeves.

Underarmour HeatGear®

But apparently the UA heat gear is supposed to keep you cooler in the heat. What?? Wearing a tight long-sleeved shirt is supposed to keep you cooler? How counter-intuitive! The UA website claims:

  • UA HeatGear® Longsleeve Tee with Compression fit provides the woman athlete with superior muscle support.
  • She stays weightless and dry while working out harder and longer.
  • Reinvented with longer silhouette for total coverage.
  • Rotated side seams for reduced abrasion and a more flattering fit.
  • Sweetheart neckline for total comfort and rolled shoulder seams for abrasion free comfort.
  • UPF 30+ technology helps protect skin from sun's harmful rays.
  • Odor control technology helps prevent the growth of odor causing microbes.
  • 5 oz. Cationic 82% Polyester / 18% Elastane.
  • Imported.

Ooooh fancy. Plus Japanese ultimate players wear them all the time:

Buzz Bullets!

If the Buzz Bullets wear them (or something similar), how could I go wrong!? Do you have any experience with the UA HeatGear® apparel?

6. Asian sleeves!

I could just borrow them from my mom... She only has about 3-4 pairs. Yes, I will look ridiculous, but if you've actually read the whole thing up until now, you should've figured out that I'm crazy anyway. Plus, who said that beauty wasn't costly? (in a socially shunning type of way)

7. Tube tops!
Maybe I can alternate between UA HeatGear and tube tops at Hatch practice this summer to try to achieve the balance of not being too dark and also getting rid of existing tan lines.

I know most tube tops don't look like that but it was one of the first hits that showed up when I Google Imaged "tube top." Plus, I'm not that self-confident to wear just that. And don't you actually need boobs to wear a tube top? I'm way too flat-chested to pull that off. =P (I know, TMI, sorry.)

8. Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer

I guess you can call this a cross between a self-tanner and lotion that doesn't turn you orange? It "delivers fabulous natural-looking color gradually that lasts twice as long as the leading lotion sunless tanner and infuses your skin with a blend of effective moisturizers, antioxidants and Vitamin E to keep it looking healthy." Huh. Ok.

Well, I bought the $8-bottle from Walgreens the other way because I was curious. And put some on my not-so tanned areas (i.e. chest and feet... ha). I realized that it had a weird smell... it didn't smell bad but it smelled familiar and kind of sweet and I wasn't sure what it was. So when I saw Bryan later, I said to him, "Smell me!"

K: "What does it smell like?"
K: ::sniff:: "OMG it does smell like maple syrup..." with a disgusted look on my face.
B: "That's so hot."


Oh! Oh! And I have a tanning coach! Alisha aka Sluts!!! I don't really know what she has in store for me, but she says she will help me achieve even-skin-toned-ness. YAYYY

Anyway, I reread my post and decided it makes me sound completely neurotic and crazy. Oh well. Some brides obsess over favors, some obsess over cake flavors or flowers. This neurotic frisbee bride obsesses over tan lines. =P