My mum always taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say then you shouldn't say anything at all, and that's the ethos I've followed when writing this blog. So when I had a disastrous experience with Dove's summer glow lotion (a gradual tanner that left me with orange legs after just one application) I had no intention of writing about it: after all, given I've never used it before I could've just done something wrong! But then I got thinking about why I, the palest woman in the world, thought I needed to have tanned legs before I go on holiday and realised it probably would make an interesting post. Just not about the pros and cons of gradual tanning lotions.
Pretty much as soon as the first rays of Spring sunshine dapple the lawn we are bombarded with images of tanned people everywhere we turn. Lithe, sun kissed girls dance across our television screens with their big toothy grins. Women with seriously healthy tans jump from magazine pages advertising everything from razors to swimsuits to wide screen TVs. The subconscious message of all of this is that to have fun in the summer you have to have a tan, which probably explains why I succumbed and had my first unsuccessful experiment with tanning lotions of any kind! And I'm not the only one feeling the pressure not to be pale.
I read an interesting article that said in many US cities there are more tanning salons than coffee shops. Given the fact that skin cancer (in fact, all kinds of cancer) are on the rise, it seems mental to me that women are jumping on sunbeds to achieve 'perfect' skin: what's wrong with the skin you're in? It might be the norm to be tan if you live by the beach in California, but we're British! We're a nation of sun starved folks with skin that looks transluscent and grey after a long winter under wraps. Where are all our pale summer icons? I can only name a handful of pale but interesting British style icons and dozens more that turn to sunbeds or bottles to achieve an unnatural colour.
Me? I'd rather be pale than orange. And as I spend another hour in the shower scrubbing away at my seriously stripey legs I wonder whether if more of our role models and examples of popular advertising didn't promote the need to tan, we might all feel a little more comfortable in our own pasty skin.
Do you fell better with a tan or are you happy to embrace your pale and interesting self? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Love Tor x