I’m big in Asia. Literally and figuratively. With my 5’9”, size 8 stature, porcelain skin, blue eyes and super short haircut I am, to say the least, something of a novelty. Holidaying in Vietnam l kind of feel like a popstar. I’m constantly stopped in the street, at markets and in bars so people can have their picture taken with me. I’m told I’m beautiful countless times a day. Stared at by small children and passers by on mopeds and bought drinks all because of how I look.


Back home people comment snarkily on how “white” I am in my holiday snaps. Actually I’m quite tanned by my standards. If you saw the bits I hide under my bikini you’d know what truly white skin looks like!


Watching Miss Universe from my hotel room I catch myself thinking how exotically beautiful the contestants from South America look with their caramel skin, glossy long locks, and bootylicious bodies.


I remind myself that because I’m British my defined, high bridged narrow nose, and pale complexion feel like the norm, but here in south east Asia people aspire to look this way, the same way that in northern Europe and America we strive to look like our counterparts in the southern hemisphere with their tanned skin and luscious latin bodies.


Fake tan lovers Jordan, Hasslehoff and Cheryl Cole

Fake tan lovers Jordan, Hasslehoff and Cheryl Cole

Beauty takes many forms and we always want what we haven’t got. Being somewhere so far from my home culture is a great lesson in how to appreciate what I do have. I’m going to take an uneducated guess that for around a quarter of the world’s population the looks that I was naturally born with are highly desirable. And yet in the UK alone we spend an estimated £35 million a year on fake tan products this is a from a study in 2011, so I don’t doubt the number has increased. Not to mention the fake eyelashes, botox, fillers, veneers, wonderbras and booty lifting underwear…


Don’t get me wrong I’m not bemoaning making the most of what we naturally have with makeup and hair dye and well fitting clothes. That’s part of the joy of being a woman; the ability to reinvent our image like creative mysterious sexy chameleons.


But I’m writing this blog as a reminder that everything that is out of the ordinary is exotic.  Including having confidence, intelligence, a sense of humour and a shining personality. These things are unfortunately traits that are not commonly shared by our young women because there is so much emphasis on looking good. Not just good but perfect, unrealistic, airbrushed. That shit takes A LOT of effort. I often see girls who are struggling to let their true beauty (the inner stuff) shine because they’re busy posing for flattering Instagram selfies and topping up their lip gloss or primping their hair or not looking too intimidating (read loud, fun, witty, interesting) so that they’re easily approachable. Too much focus on the form, not enough focus on the content.


So my challenge to you is be exotic. Be extraordinary. Leave the fake tan in the bottle, dare to work with what you already have and make your natural magnetism the thing that attracts people to you. There’s nothing more exotic than a woman who knows herself so well that you can’t help but be drawn to her.


{Plus when you get hot fake tan kind of makes you smell like biscuits and that’s a tad weird. Just sayin’} 


If you'd like help connecting with the *real* you and getting more confident in your own skin check out my services... It could save you A LOT of money on fake bake ;)