Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fake tans are whack

Last night I decided to give myself a fake tan. Normally I don't subject myself to this sort of thing. But I'm going to the beach for the Fourth of July and I didn't want to traipse around in a bikini while appearing consumptive.

So I used L'Oreal Sublime Self-Tanning Towelettes. Here is the resulting photo:

It was a great trauma. There are streaks everywhere. I have even more sympathy now for the toddlers of Toddlers and Tiaras who are led unwittingly into chambers called "tanning tents," which are like nightmarish reimaginings of the circus. Also, who am I kidding, their lives are way more terrible than mine, it's just really sad.

But what gives! I did everything right! I used the little cloth thingy all over my body, trying to guess where it was going, where it had been, as at that point the tanner formula was invisible, like carbon monoxide the silent killer, and I just had to have faith in myself, and in tanning.

Perhaps I didn't wait long enough for it to dry? But listen to this: I waited thirty-five minutes! Thirty-five minutes of standing around, naked, while I rotated my body like a rotisserie chicken in front of the air conditioner. After thirty-five minutes I was still covered in a sort of unsettling, muggy film, like a physical manifestation of guilt, but what else could I do? I decided it was dry enough. It had to be.

So I went to bed. Like Christmas Eve, the magic was supposed to happen during the night.

And by magic I mean: streaks down my arms, between my boobs, on the inner part of my was a mess (see photo), but I suppose it was magical, in that it magically went from looking okay to looking terrible.

Now I am left with the question of why. The package said "wait until dry." Perhaps I went to bed prematurely and smudged it all over myself and my bed sheets. But how long must a woman wait for her tanner? I had to move on, my friends. I had to move on.

Maybe I am sensitive because I feel this experience demonstrates an overarching theme of (and problem I have with) beautifying practices. I don't have time to stand around naked for longer than thirty-five minutes. I'm sorry, I just don't. I would like to run errands or stand in front of my window or take out the trash and would prefer not to do it while naked.

Am I alone in this feeling?

In the end, I have decided not to blame myself, but the product. And the fact that my 1/8 Irish heritage somehow overrides my 7/8 Italian heritage, depriving me of a ruddy and sanguine complexion, and leaving me pale, confused and covered in self-tanner.

Please share your thoughts on the practice of self-tanning and/or Toddlers and Tiaras. Are any of you giving yourselves fake tans, right now, as we speak? If so, stop!



  1. No tanning of any sort, natural or otherwise. I'm blonde, I'm pale, and I'm frequently covered in 70 SPF sunscreen. That's just the way it is. Somewhere around 30 years old I just accepted this sad sad fate.

  2. I feel your pain, Amy, and I'm here for you.

  3. I have inherited the dominance of my mother who cannot tan in 3 weeks on the beach - white as a sheet of paper all the time - feel your pain.
    The only way to go if you are desperate for a tan is a pro spray. I had one for my year 12 graduation where I had to wear white - it was great!
    That's the one and only time I ever had a tan

  4. Alexandra, I think you are right: spray tanning might be best when left to the pros. I will remember this next time...if there is a next time [ominous underscoring sting].

  5. Wear that pale badge with pride! I do - well, I call it "fair" - knowing that were this the 1800s, we'd be highly sought after prizes. Also, in old age, we'll be among the few who don't resemble leatherette purses. You rock!

  6. Tyler, what an amazing argument in favor of paleness -- er, being fair. Long live the 1800s. We are the fairest of them all!

  7. Hey Felicia! Zoe here. I've always been extremely pale, but unlike most people, it has never bothered me! I also have extremely sensitive skin so I know any of that stuff would kill it. I just think, in regards to tanning products/tanning in general, that they're all bad for us and will eventually cause negative health effects. It's just chemicals on our bodies. But that's just me! I agree-"if so, stop!" Or at least, tan "naturally" :-)

  8. :P Yikes. I hope it fades soon, or you can start streaks as being the new In thing. I'm scared to mess with most beauty products. They don't come naturally to me, and I can usually manage to mess up putting on lipstick and blush. (I've some women can shave their legs without getting nicked, but I suspect it's a myth.)

    Genetics are weird. My 1/4 Greek skin seems to have won out over my 3/8 Irish side even with my French and German sides backing it up with their lack of pigment, so I burn once a year, then tan the rest of the summer. I'll take that even if it comes with the bad sinuses I also got from my father's side.

    Not sure I can put my thoughts on Toddlers and Tiaras into words. Sound effects or emotive grunts, maybe.

  9. I feel you! I'm 3/4 Italian and 1/4 Irish, yet I'm SO PALE. My mom can tan so easily, but I can't. The struggle.

  10. @Zoe: Hey, girrrl! You are so right. I am slowly killing myself! Never again. @Alayne: This is going to sound like a random endorsement deal, but after like nine years of using Schick Intuition razors (with the self-foaming blades) I really recommend them! I hardly ever cut myself, ever, and it's super fast because you don't have to lather on the shaving cream. #hygieneproblems. @Elizabeth! I feel your sweet, sweet pain. I guess we have to just be happy about the other good qualities that our Irishness confers, like the ability to hold our liquor. #jk

  11. Some people say "Look how burnt I am" and I just sadly shake my head. They have not experienced what a "burn" really is. Burning is when strangers will walk up to you in the store and just say "I'm so sorry..." which has happened to me.

    Siiiigggghhhh...the rough life of the fair-skinned. ;-)

  12. Should we start a support group? I think there is a clear need! We could call it "Beyond the Pale" or something

  13. I'm never getting a fake tan because that's not the kind of person I am. And I know Felicia, that it's also not the kind of person you are. Embrace your fair skin!

    Besides, green is better!! ;)

  14. Sorry Felicia! I have a feeling if I tried to put a fake tan on it would come out even worse then yours. I HAVE to spend 15 minutes slapping on sunscreen before I go outside or I'm gonna come back as a tomato. But we have our little support group here in the comments :) Naturally Fair for the win!!!