Friday, September 3, 2010

Tan, Our Obsession With Being

As I'm prepping myself mentally for heading off to Maui next week my mind keeps wandering to a sad place.  I don't go to that place very often.  Actually, I flat out ignore that place. That place involves my skin and its inability to tan.  My skin has other issues too, but failing to be tan is one of its worst faults.

Why is being tan associated with being attractive?  Is it because tan skin hides flaws?  Is brownish skin more slimming than white?  Does it mean you lead a life of luxury, laying by a pool all day...and somehow that's attractive?  Is whiteness associated with severe blood loss and imminent death so people shy away from it?  Does extreme fair skin imply that you never leave the house and are, therefore, lazy?

I don't know the answer.  But I do know, given there are no other differences, I'd much rather look at a tan person than a pasty white one.  And, as a pasty white person, it's infuriating. 

It's particularly annoying when, despite the appearance of having a "healthy glow," being tan is actually horrible for you.  Premature wrinkles being at one end of the spectrum and dying of skin cancer at the other.  No amount of exposure of this reality has seemed to lessen our desire to be a bronze beauty come swimsuit season either.

We need more Nicole Kidmans and less....everyone else.


Markie23 said...

Nicely filed under "T" - for "Things to Whine About When Going to Paradise"

Memzy said...

I agree with you L

Memzy said...

And with Markie

Jenny ESP said...

I like Markie's title. Maui?? Again?? I mean, c'mon.

I gave up being tan five years ago, while preggo with Homedigity. Not because my skin won't tan, I'm a fairly easy tanner, but because I don't want to look old and wrinkly. And because when you reach a certain age, super tan skin is almost weird-looking anyway.

But sometimes, just from being out and about in a perpetually sunny city, I tan on accident. And it's awesome!! (From my arms down)

Cristin said...

Amen sister. Us pastey white people need to unite. Back in the olden days it use to be a good thing but now.... it sucks.

p.s have fun in Maui...nice way to distract me from the real point of the blog. YOU ARE GOING TO MAUI!! Sweet. have fun. Don't burn.

Landee said...

I'm not WHINING! I'm just saying it's annoying that tan=beauty and I=pasty. It just happens to be at the forefront of my mind because I'll be in a swimming suit for many days in a week or so.

Oh, and my arms are "tann-ish" as well, but that's because they've had short exposures to the sun here & there throughout the summer. And my tan stops where my cap sleeve begins. That looks particularly good when I'm in my gym clothes.

Cristin--yes! I wanna go back to The Good Earth days when being white meant total and complete amazingness. Except I don't wanna squat in a rice field to give birth. ::doing the scale thing with my arms:: Toss up.

StandsMom said...

I used to tan. Until I spent several years without any access to tanning and then My skin wouldn't anymore. You, my dear, are not pasty. In fact, I have occasionally thought to myself that you have a very lovely skin tone. The things you stress about when you consider visiting Maui. I would be freaking out about wearing a bathing suit for 40 other reasons. I know you'll have tons of fun, and your tan won't ruin it at all!

eekareek said...

That really sucks you have to go to Maui! But I have a solution for you. Just wear those tan colored pantyhose under your swim suit and your legs will appear to be bronze. I do it when I go to the community pool and all eyes are on me.

Flem said...

Hear, hear. I have never been able to do much more than take off the glaring white for some redness.

Is that why you changed the background on your blog to tan?

Also, I don't know why we love tan people, but Steve and I always attribute this stuff to natural selection so I would say it indicates youth and ability to provide labor...?

solidgold (a.k.a. our family) said...

2 words for you: Spray Tan.
I'm open for business sista.
I can't promise it won't look slightly fake though.
I do see more and more people going with the oh natural look. I honestly think that nowadays, pasty white IS the new tan.
But you know I love to hang out with you in my salon so don't toss out the idea.