Ah, summer. The time of sunshine, bikinis, and the perfect sun-kissed skin. But not for me this year. Not even with harmless moisturizing creams. Here’s why, and why I think you should go tan-less too.
1. The Vintage Look Is Coming Back
And by vintage, I mean the classic pinup look. It’s not what you’ve seen in People and Teen Vogue over the past ten years. It means curves and non-curves, matte complexions, red lips, and modest bathing suits. And you don’t have to have a tan to be chic! It’s perfectly optional, Lovelies.
2. There Are More Pale “Beautiful People” Than You Think.
I recently found a picture showing the Victoria’s Secret Angels before and after Photoshop treatment (don’t read the comments, they’re pretty cruel). One of the first things I realized upon seeing this is just how pale they were. Granted, they were against a white background that probably washed them out a bit. But they looked so much like any other women who probably work indoors for most of the year.
But I checked it out, and I realized just how recent a tan has become a sign of beauty. Back in the day, being pale meant that you were wealthy enough to have a job that allowed you to work inside (a very desirable thing!). For starlets like Marilyn Monroe, being pale was the thing to be for most of their careers.
Sure, modern starlets like Angelina Jolie are tan. But they become famous in a time where being tan was the It Look, so they had to do or die. And Miss Jolie wasn’t always tan, Lovelies…
2. You Want Me To Lie Still Forever? Yeah, Right.
In terms of conventional tanning, I’d have to lie still in what amounts to a human toaster oven for at least 15 minutes a week. That’s not much at first, but I’d probably have to up my light exposure once I built up a base tan. I’d be hauling myself down to my local tanning salon at least 2-3 times a week. Tanning would become a big time sucker.
It’s either that or me lying on my back on a lawn somewhere. I’d have a magazine to read, but it’s essentially the same situation. And frankly, I have places I could be running to instead of lying down.
3. Self-Tanner Is Just Silly!
This seems even more humiliating that sitting in a Human Toaster Oven. Why? Self-tanner involves you sitting indoors to put on something that makes you look like you’ve been outdoors. This is a silly idea. And like the Human Toaster Oven, you have to maintain it a few times a week. So why bother?
4. Tans Don’t Always Reflect Reality.
I’m a writer, and I have a day job painting the insides of apartments. This means that for the most part, I’ll be spending most of my working hours indoors. This wasn’t my intention — it just happened. But it makes me think of all the people my age who are working in office jobs or fast-food joints this summer. Think they have time to tan extensively, to make up for the fact that they’ve been working indoors all this time? Probably not. But that’s okay, because…
5. Tans Should Just Happen.
This year, I’m going to the Oregon Country Fair, an extravaganza of arts, crafts, and genuine craziness in the forests of Veneta, Oregon. People will be walking around with painted bodies, maybe on stilts or with fairy wings strapped to their backs. I and probably everyone there will have an amazing tan after walking around the Dharma Gardens and dancing at the Drum Tower. I’m also saving up money to take my boyfriend to Disneyland for the first time. I’ll drag him all over the park, and will probably get a lot of sun in doing so.
Because that’s what a tan should be: An aftereffect from having done something cool outdoors. It shouldn’t be an end in and of itself. So I’m just going to live, work, and play this summer. If I get a little brown from it, cool. If not, that’s fine too.
Are you sporting a tan this summer, Lovelies? Why or why not?