Thursday, September 08, 2011

Fake Tan: How Did It Become The New Normal ... ?

Perma-tanned orange celebrities
I've considered a fake tan. Once, a few years ago. It didn't work that great, and I gave up. I decided that I spend enough time outdoors on my bike to get at least some colour.

However from this BBC report, it seems that Fake Tan is now 'normal' while a natural skin colour is, by extension, ... not.

Fake tan is mockingly associated with the Tango shade of orange, and permatanned celebrities - like Katie Price, Christine Bleakley, Cheryl Cole, and the entire cast of ITV's 'The Only Way Is Essex' - are often quite rightly lampooned.

The true fact is that tanning is a fashion - albeit a long-running one. Before the 1920's a tan said you were a manual labourer who spent all day outdoors, and so the elite strived for paleness.

Then in the 1920s, with the early jet-setters travelling to Nice or Monte Carlo for their summers, and as more people actually worked in an office environment, the 'tan' became the 'thing'. Now with so many sun-chasers abroad once a year it seems that the all-year 'orange' is here to stay.

'But I look healthier!' my friend tells me.

No. I know you, and I know you had 10 rainy days in Cornwall this year. Which means you just sprayed or rubbed 54 different chemicals on your skin for your vanity.

This is what an orange spray tan looks like at it's worst ...