With that big pool party staring at me from a week away, I now realize that the perfect swimsuit is not my only concern.
My “tan” isn’t so hot either.
I don’t care about being a bronzed beauty. I’m not striving to look like a photo-shopped H&M Model. At this point in my life, I just want to not stand out in a crowd. The best compliment I can hope for is that someone thinks I look okay for my age or just doesn’t say “Ewww” when I show up poolside.
But as far as tans go, I’m currently a standout. I’ve got some lines where real life and my summer existence haven’t yet come to terms. Let’s take my left arm, my driving arm, as an example. It’s at least 3 shades darker than the right one. My leg tan consists of what peeps out from under my capri’s. My upper body looks like I’ve worn a t-shirt all my life, and I won’t even mention the torso area. It’s not going to be visible in public until I ever get off my rear end and do some serious crunching and cardio. Some may call what I have a farmer or redneck tan. I call it a soccer-mom-who-works too much-and-doesn’t-want to-put-on-a-swimsuit-this-year tan.
I also don’t want to look like a tourist in the party pics that could very well be blasted and tagged all over Facebook, so my only resort at this point is to hop on the spray tanning or bronzer bandwagon.
In other words, I can still be a nice shade of orange by the weekend.
Yet I have some hesitation about getting my tan on. After all, we’ve just been bombarded with images that will haunt us forever of the New Jersey mom, Patricia Krentcil, who allegedly brought her child to the tanning salon. I have no idea whether or not that kid was allowed to bake in a tanning bed, but there’s no doubt that this mom has spent a few good years of her life there that she’ll never get back.
Even Snooki, of all people, has weighed in on this tanorexic lady, calling her a “crazy bitch”. Ironic words, coming from Snooki. Perhaps the pregnancy hormones are kicking in. Mrs. Krentcil, while she may look like she’s used to some mud-slinging based on the image above, is apparently not one to take it in verbal form. She fired back at Snooki, telling TMZ, “She’s fake, she’s fat, her t*ts are fake, she’s disgusting.” Even more humourously, she then added, “When this is all said and done, I’d like to meet up with Snoopy.”
And then came the action figure.
Now I actually think this action figure was not modelled after Mrs. Krentcil, but had to be the result of a manufacturing defect where the wrong head was put on the wrong body and the marketers are trying to salvage an assembly line gone awry. The face is orange. The teeth are way too white. The hair is too yellow. The clothes aren’t right. Yet the face is orange. Where’s the action? Where’s the kid? Where is the dreamhouse/tanning salon that allowed this woman to get like this before turning her away once the publicity came into play?
And then there’s the inevitable talk of Playboy. We can all be grateful that the Playboy spokesman was quick to deny that Miss Patty will ever grace their pages. “She’s not Playboy material”, they feel the need to tell us. I don’t read or view Playboy, so I don’t really care one way or another. But I think that an aging woman that resembles a blackened reptile with no tan lines is not centerfold fodder, and I don’t see this a profitable thing for them.
There’s also talk of this woman getting her own reality show. Are we at that level now with reality TV? Will episode 1 consist of us watching this woman trek across New Jersey hoping some newbie tanning salon worker will unwittingly let her in…in spite of the fact that she’s on a black-out list from nearly all NJ tanning salons?
Now enter a 2nd mom whose tanorexia is also creating a stir in mommydom. In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Krista Mann allegedly went into a local tanning salon. No, she didn’t take in her children, a 10-month old boy and a 6-year old girl. She left them in a car across the street. Alone. With the car idling. A police officer supposedly found the kids while checking parking meters, asked where their mom was, and the 6-year old pointed across the street to the tanning salon. Supposedly, the child started crying as the officer questioned her, stating she wasn’t allowed to talk to strangers.
It was later revealed that after salon staff told Ms. Mann to get dressed and leave the tanning booth to talk to police, that she had no valid driver’s license as it had been suspended due to driving under the influence.
And then we are assured by this lady’s neighbors that Ms. Mann is a great mom.
There are no burned-in/up images of Mrs. Mann on the internet, but let’s suffice by saying that anyone who feels that a quick lay in the tanning bed is enough of an emergency to leave their kids in a running car has a serious problem.
It’s known as tanorexia.
Apparently, tanorexics have an altered view of their own body image and don’t see themselves as others see them. They think they are paler than they actually are. They suffer anxiety when they’re unable to tan. Tanning has taken priority over the more important things in their lives.
In the olden days, being tanned was a sign of success, riches, and a life of leisure. Anyone who remembers George Hamilton knows that he was famous for his permanent tan. Even today, he sports a bronzed, somewhat orange-ish look.
The entire cast of Jersey Shore has a tanning issue. They coined the phrase GTL–Gym, tan, laundry–which pretty much sums up their daily priorities. Click on the link below to see the video of a dermatologist warning these GTL’ers about the perils of extreme tanning.
However, I must say that I’ve read that pregnant Snoopy, um, Snooki, has now given it up due to her pregnancy. I give a big fist pump to that sacrifice.
Then there’s Carrot Top. I don’t think he falls into the tanorexic category but I’m using this image as further evidence that too much orange is not attractive. Too much of anything can be quite scary, actually.
Now I love having a summer glow as much as the next person. But when you find yourself shirking your parental responsibilities, going into DT’s when you can’t get your tanning fix, and looking orange, crispy, or downright freak-ish, it may be time to relinquish your tanning card and your bronzer.
More signs that you’re a tanorexic:
- You’re frequently mistaken for a leather chair.
- You get pulled for speeding, and the officer questions your ethnicity based on your driver’s license picture.
- Your skin is the color of Minute Maid orange juice.
- Your wardrobe consists of all neon clothing, because they make your eyes pop.
- A dog has pee’d on you because it mistook you for a traffic cone.
- You stand out in group pictures, and not in a good way.
- Cheese Puffs don’t seem to stain your fingers.
- You can’t find foundation to match your skin because they don’t make “burnt orange”. Your solution? Kick up the tanning a notch.
- Your lipstick shade of choice is “frosted ice”.
- Magda, from “Something About Mary” is your idol.
- On Halloween, people think your costume is a walking Slim Jim.
- Typing “orange” in a Google image search results in your image at the top of the page.
- Hunters stalk you in hopes of using your skin as a handbag.
- Saturday Night Live parodies your “look”.
Now back to me and my tanning dilemma. What dilemma? I think I just figured it all out while writing this post. Who says blogging isn’t therapeutic?
Orange is not the new black. Neither is looking like burnt toast. Excessive tanning looks unnatural. Fake tans make you orange. The bronzed beauties we’re looking at in swimsuit ads are professionally photo-shopped. Excessive tanning causes skin damage, premature aging, age spots…skin cancer. George Hamilton was wrong. The cast of Jersey Shore is clueless. The NJ tanorexic is clearly wrong. The Pennsylvania lady is wrong in more ways than I can count. Carrot Top is just plain scary-looking for reasons that could inspire a completely new post.
Perhaps skin care is the new black.
- Tanning Mom, Patricia Krentsil, Poses Braless for Paparazzi [NSFW] [VIDEO] (inquisitr.com)
- NJ Tanning Mom Gives Paparazzi a Show (jdjournal.com)
- ‘Tanorexic’ Mom Banned From Salons (myfoxphilly.com)
- Tanning Mom to Do Playboy! (weeklyworldnews.com)