Is a tan more attractive than being pale?

I'm Finnish so I'm naturally pale as a ghost. I just realized that the summer is almost over and I don't even have a trace of a tan. Not that I ever get super tanned. I usually end up looking like a lobster.

I personally find (naturally) tanned people more attractive than pale people because in my eyes it makes them look more healthy. Don't get me wrong, I don't think orange is a good color for anyone and I realize that the UV radiation isn't healthy. I do fancy the sun-kissed look, though.

So, tanned, pale or something in between? Which one do you prefer?
  • Tanned
    Vote A
  • Pale
    Vote B
  • Something in between
    Vote C
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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Updates:
I now realize that I should have put a "Depends/Both" option as well. Oops.
Just to be clear, I didn't mean I don't like my own skintone. I was simply saying that I find the sun-kissed look attractive on other people and that I would have loved to have gotten a bit tanned this summer but didn't because I've been mainly working indoors. Somehow you managed to turn this into me hating on skincolors.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I was always getting sunburned in the summer up to a few years ago, since I was spending a lot of time at the seaside and also in the mountains and believe it or not, sun was harsh there in the summer.
    When we were kids it was very usual and nobody cared about the tan. Some were getting really black in a natural way.

    Now not that much, just a bit darker on my arms and forearms. But did not get to properly take my shirt off.

    But I noticed that now at this age, people that I stumble upon, do not necessarily care much about the tan either, but you can tell by their reaction that they simply asses whether you were on holiday or not.
    And I also believe that they rate your holiday and how "Successful" it was based on the tan you got.
    So for some it simply became a status symbol. "look at how tanned I am, it means I was on holiday in a sunny place, I can afford that"

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Naturally tan. I like that glowy-bronzy look, not that orange film people get covered in w/ false tans. Some really pale people (like almost completely transparent skin) look like their skin is made outta tissue paper which isn't my thing. It depends on the person and the undertones too. Really pale people with really cool undertones look like ghosts to me (not my thing) but some pale people with warm or olive undertones can look really lively. It depends.

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    • Oh. I only clicked the pole & wrote out my reply from the feed. I didn't see the context of your question. Don't hurt yourself (physically or emotionally) over a tan. Most guys I know go crazy over porcelain skin. Own it :) . I was talking on my own preference for men.

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    • @splashofyellow It doesn't sound like you desperately want a tan lol. I just missed the context of your question so I tried to answer it more directly. You sounded like you were wondering what guys thought about pale skin so I was sharing my observation.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 79

  • I thinks it depends on the individual on which skin color looks good. But I've a preference for tanned and brown people, and especially when it's natural. I've been into the South-European, Asian, Middle-eastern and South-American look for a very long time. Some people suits being light skinned and light skin looks can look good on some people. But I'm not into the K-pop look and it's just my taste.

    Tan/brown people is rarer where I lives, so maybe that influence my taste in addition to the media and fashion. Tanned skin do cover skin imperfection and makes the best features more visible.

    I thinks tan/brown like this is nice looking and in dating that skin tone is my preference in addition to black hair and brown eyes.
    www.charismanews.com/.../Reuters-Adriana-Lima.jpg

    www-tc.pbs.org/.../poldark_S1_E7_episode_icon.jpg

    I thinks some types of light skin looks good. Light skin on Spanish looking people can look good like how tan can look good. Blonde hair, blue eyes and light skin is a more average or standard thing I sees on 89% of the population here in the north.
    4.bp.blogspot.com/.../2.13%2B05.jpg

    data.whicdn.com/images/134138361/original.jpg

    She's more of a standard. I sees people like this everyday.
    https://c.stocksy.com/a/78O000/z0/92759.jpg

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  • No, there's nothing wrong with looking pale and I find this obsession with tanning strange. My girlfriend is a very pale redheaded Irish girl, and she used to annoy me with her obsession with it. I even think a tan looks strange sometimes especially on a blonde girl, you're supposed to be pale, you're from up North. It's like encouraging a black African to be more white, why would they want to be?

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  • I find the tanned look to be very attractive. I often think people look better tanned than pale, however I have met/seen some people who I thought looked very beautiful/attractive due to how pale they were. So largely it depends on the person. And, to be honest, many people look really weird in a tan as well. I realize that wasn't a very definitive answer so I must apologize for that.

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  • I think natural is hot. Look at Nicole Kidman. She is white as milk AND not young, and she's flawless. I like every shade of skin - don't worry about being pale :)

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  • I like in between. For me as a black person when I look at white women who are all tanned it sometimes looks kinda funny. When I was younger I thought pale skin was gross but now in my prime it can actually be very sexy on some women, especially redheads.

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  • There are people that take it WAY too far. There is a woman at the bowling alley that must live in a tanning bed year round. It looks seriously ridiculous for a person to be super tanned in the dead of winter here in Michigan.

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  • Tanned usually looks better cause it covers skin imperfections and gives more emphasis on muscles but I am quite pale and I appreciate pale beauties very much! Being tanned looks to me something like cheating cause 90% of the year you won't be as tanned as in summer

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  • I like it when someone has a tan because I personally interpret it as a sign of fitness and that they go out a decent amount. These are two things that I personally find attractive

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  • I find milky skinned so hot! But I wouldn't turn down a healthy sun kissed glow either.
    A healthy dose of UV is needed to develop vitamin D. In Russia the sit around UV lights in the winter when the sun doesn't shine enough. Caucasians are white because as we moved further north our skin lightened to allow more absorbtion of UV light. Conversely Africans are dark skinned to lessen UV absorption.
    (Sorry, ranted a bit)

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  • I prefer people with their natural skin color. Personally, I prefer a pale girl over a sunbaked tan. A little tan is good but some girls take it way too far. I see so many pictures of girls on social media that overdid it and I just think to myself that they would look so much better in their natural skin color. I guess for some people. the grass is always greener on the other side.

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  • Super male looks unhealthy. But super tanned, usually does not look good either. Especially if its not a natural tan.

    In between those two extremes, I just don't care.

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  • It really depends... tan skin can hide skin flaws a lot more than pale skin so in that sense it's better. But if you have perfect skin and are pale it shows more than if you have perfect skin and are tan. Personally i prefer girls with a more tanned complexion but mostly only if its their natural skin color. im irish so im pale myself but i do tan easy for an irish man.

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  • A little makeup, styling your hair a certain way, going to the gym, wearing whatever clothes make you happy: cool.

    Trying to change the color of your skin dramatically, plastic surgery ("restorative" surgeries are kind of a gray area, I guess, but the ones that are just to change the way you look), excessive tattoos, or *alot* of makeup: why don't you just try loving yourself?

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  • Brown people want to be pale.
    Pale people want to brown.

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  • it really depends on the person. if you have a naturally darker complexion then a tan looks good. with a naturally lighter complexion, a tan isn't necessary in my opinion. I think scandanavian people look good without a tan.

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  • i think tan to an extent is attractive but there becomes a point where it isn't. i tend to prefer more pale than tan but something in between is a happy medium

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  • I just dropped by to say I find Emma Watson repulsive, especially her stuck up facial expression. I feel pity for guys who like her. I feel pity for girls who take her as a role model.

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  • I think no, because the reason why to me, my latina crush looks far better than any tanned white girl is that she has these characteristics in addition, which make her beautiful to me. In others words: to me, getting tanned is like still being pale (regarding the missing characteristic) but with a darker color

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  • Well, my cousins live is Sweden and they are middle eastern so they're tan, their mother told me that they get a lot of attention from girls at school because of being tan... so yeah i think whites like tan skinned people.

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  • Pale skin is beautiful WTF. But all tones are gorgeous in their own unique form. Be proud of your light tone. It looks "clean". Dye your hair black for that beautiful contrast! Or yes that sunkissed look is beautiful too! But it won't look natural.

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What Girls Said 40

  • I voted 'tanned', because in my country, as almost all western ones, tanned is considered more attractive...
    Although I'm also very pale, I don't feel obliged to force myself to get a fake tan... I say fake tan because I can only burn in the sun... never tan...

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  • tanned /brown skin color is my preference

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  • pale looks better

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  • Hmmm... I like something in between. I think that beauty srsly comes in all colors, but my preference goes for a soft natural tan (not too tan) for both genders. But I also like pale without redness.
    i.skyrock.net/.../2263649573_1_26_gpKe2uNQ.jpg
    s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/.../...5c87e0bc14.jpg
    i.pinimg.com/.../...2468--vs-angels-top-models.jpg
    cdn1.ntv.com.tr/.../...,woEpYpChwkGtIq3zBZFLJg.jpg

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  • I always ask my white friends what their fascination with tanning is. Some of them say if they get a tan at the beginning of the summer, they won't burn throughout the rest of it. Others have said being pale makes them look sickly. But I don't get it. If you're white, you're white. That's who you are. I don't understand that like I don't understand black people (like Sammy Sosa) who lighten their skin. People of all colors are attractive.

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    • Responding to your update, I don't see tanned as being more attractive than pale. I honestly don't understand why tanning is a thing. I didn't mean to have an offensive answer. I just don't see either as being more attractive.

  • It depends on the guy. I have strawberry blonde hair and a fair complexion. A lot of guys like that about me. I am sure there are some who don't. I used to tan all the time and now I regret it because the sun ages you so quick. I think you should do what makes you feel the most attractive and the right guy will be attracted to that. If you do like being tan I recommend spray tans and not the tanning bed or too much time in the sun.

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  • In Europe, tanned is definitely considered more attractive, but here in Japan where people are more concerned with preventing wrinkles and sun spots white is - particularly females.
    Of course in both cases there will be people who don't fit the stereotype and like just the opposite.

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  • every skin is attractive,
    problem is that no one likes their own skin color, and feel that other skin tone is better.
    this is same as in career, one employ will think other is doing better and she has more easy job and getting paid more.
    and other employ will be thinking same toward her.

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  • Tanned skin is damaged skin. It makes you look older, causes wrinkles and cancer. No thank you. Buuutttt I'm a ginger who cannot tan so my opinion isn't impartial.

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  • I have a thing for pale skin at the moment. It's a nice contrast to the tan everybody apparently strive for + it's way healthier to keep out of the sun and use protection.

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  • I have very white skin so whenever I can, with safety I get tanned. I love to be a little bit tanned.

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    • Is there a safe suntan? A tan is the result of DNA damage. Plain and simple. UV Rays from the sun hit your skin cells... that breaks some of your DNA strands... in response, the cells produce pigment to help protect against further damage. UV light can also do *permanent* damage to your skin's network of collagen fibers... causing you to develop wrinkles more quickly and extensively.

    • @CactusJuice what I mean with safety is using some sun block.

  • Honestly for me it's hard and what I prefer matters most. Lots of guys like my fair skin but don't object in the summer when I manage some color and a sunkissed face and hair that can make me look a evade younger if I'm in shape.

    I don't wear foundation or really much powdered make up. I wear expensive moisturizer, toner and basically face care that makes stupid other unhealthy face makeup obsolete.

    As far as my body o recently did an airbrush tan that was expensive but lasted two weeks and looked natural even in pasty skin in the sun.

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  • I'm Irish, so everyone here is either super pale or wearing a ton of makeup, so I have to say pale simply because its all we have haha

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  • The whole pale being more attractive than tanned is because of this whole thing where being pale was considered a good thing because it meant that you we're rich enough not to work out in the fields, unlike tanned people

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  • Nothing is better than anything else. As someone who is naturally tan because of my race I find this offensive. Stop trying to make up beauty standards!! Everyone is beautiful in their own way

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    • You find it offensive that I think a tan looks good? Come on now.

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    • I understand what you mean but what I don't understand is why you think I'm trying to say that either would be better than the other. I'm simply asking for personal preferences which I didn't realize was offensive. However, it's not just you who thought this was an offensive question which baffles me. I'm not talking about skin color. I'm talking about a tan. Each and every skintone can get a tan.

    • It's okay I understand your intention wasn't to make it offensive I suggest rephrasing the question. But personally I don't care if a guy is tan or not as long as he's hot that's all that matters to me

  • You're lucky you have a white skin

    In our country, philippines, people drink, inject glutathione to have a white skin,

    And me, i have to use whitening soap for a month to make my skin white again

    I have white skin previously, but due to summer swimming it didn't get back easily

    there's nothing wrong with being white

    And there's nothing wrong with being tanned too

    Its just in the way you carry yourself
    Im comfortable with tan skin, but i wished i have whiter skin at least

    Well whats matter is that i can still smile widely and happy whatever i look

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  • I'm a little darker (since I'm Hispanic, go figure). I like pale skin too tho.

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  • I tan very easily so I am pretty tan because I spend most of my time outdoors. I think tan lines are sexy.

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  • I am pale and I like my skin. I also think tanned or very dark people are very beautiful. I don't think it's an either/or type thing.

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    • @TuMeManques... You may think you're pale at the moment, but I guarantee within a couple of minutes of landing in the UK, you're going to feel positively tanned during our constant rain! lol

    • @AndrewMG I'd fit right in 🙈🙈🙈

  • I'm pretty brown so i love my tan skin. I'm like a dark golden olive skin.. lol.. but i love pale skin :)

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