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I'm an European, but I'm more like Asians in this matter :P
You and me both ^_^
It seems that fashion for tan is changing in Western world. Tan is not so preferrable nowadays as it was at it's peak. Correct me if I'm wrong...
In countries like Finland, where sunshine and warmth is limited to just few months of the year, tanning is still super popular, and particularly among elderly. Then in the US I've seen some ridiculously tanned people, especially young women, but it depends where you are or where they are from. I was once asked that because I am an outdoor person, why I am not more tanned. I replied that I apply sunscreen. He did not like the answer.
My friends from both India and China are obsessed with staying pale. They are so appalled and even angry at the tanning culture here, as bad as if we were throwing out food in front of starving children.
That's just the same old fashion: the rich ones don't need to work under the sun, so they're pale. One needs to be pale to look fashionable. My grandmother's mother told that a good girl is chubby (?), pale and has ruddiness on her cheeks -- that was the peasants fashion in northern Russia 100 years ago and earlier. I've heard similar things about Western countries.
I have family in Mexico, and as far as I can tell it's the same down there. The people we met wore long sleeves and hats when they were going to be in the sun. My mother got a few funny looks and one lady told her she was showing off because she wore a one piece swimsuit at the lake.
It all comes down to wealth. It used to be that pale skin was a sign that you were rich enough to stay indoors. In some parts of the world that changed when people started traveling. Then a tan was a sign that you could afford a tropical vacation.