Flic’s column

Candis editor Flic Everett shares her thoughts on life… this week, she’s staying pale and interesting.

Flics-Pic_035_EDSLETTER_REPROI’ve never been one for a tan. Even when the sun was baking hot and all the other girls were lying on the school field with their blouses tied in a midriff-baring knot, I was lurking in the library looking for an Agatha Christie I hadn’t read.

I have Russian ancestry, and come from a long line of sun-shunners, so there was nobody in my family who ever ventured out in summer. All my childhood memories are of my mum and grandma watching Wimbledon with the curtains drawn, and groaning if the temperature strayed above 65°F. It was like being brought up in a Transylvanian castle – I didn’t know what the sun would do, but I suspected it was bad.

As teenagers, my friends would baste themselves with baby oil (or Mazola cooking oil if that was the only thing available) and lie in the garden till they turned into crispy Christmas turkeys. I’d be reading under a tree, with a wide-brimmed hat on, like an escapee from the Raj. Obviously, sitting outside with your top off till you turn post-box scarlet is never wise (hello, British men outside pubs) but almost everyone is delighted when friends comment on their lovely holiday tan.

And it’s true, a tan makes you look thinner, healthier and means you can wear bright colours without looking like Caspar the friendly ghost in a Hawaiin shirt. But it may be that I was right all along – and my glow-in-the-dark limbs and general resemblance to a pan of skimmed milk may not be such a bad idea. Our health report in the July issue of Candis looks at whether it’s ever a good idea to get a sun-tan; and according to experts, even a ‘healthy glow’ can cause skin damage. I am secretly relieved. Because if a tan really isn’t good for you, it means I can stop pretending, save a fortune on fake tan, and never again have to stand semi-naked in weird paper knickers while a skinny 16-year-old beautician hoses me down with Fake Bake.

Come to the pale side, with me. It’s safer, and you get to spend a lot of time in libraries.

The July issue of Candis is out now

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