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View Full Version : What's so special about being tan?



efreysson
04-15-2013, 10:13 PM
I think about this now and then, and a radio commercial for a tanning salon got me going this time. It announced "You look like a ghost. Drop by."

My silent reply was: "So what?" Yes, I AM pale as a ghost at the end of the Icelandic winter when I've barely seen sunlight in half a year, and that's perfectly natural. I'm not saying I find tan people ugly, but I don't see anything particularly attractive about it either. Why does pop culture make such a big deal about it?
If anything, when I see a person who obviously makes an effort to be tan, I tend to reflexively associate it with vanity. It's probably unfair of me, but that's my first reaction.

There was considerable discussion last year about the harmful effects of tanning beds, and it left me wondering why people bother with them when I really don't see any benefit.

Thoughts?

cray
04-15-2013, 10:33 PM
i don't like tans but i like tan lines.

ebbrown
04-15-2013, 10:40 PM
i don't like tans but i like tan lines.

this ^
Tan lines are kinda hot. Working outside on a farm for years made me appreciate the evidence of a hard workin' man, I suppose. ;)

Cella
04-15-2013, 10:45 PM
this ^
Tan lines are kinda hot. Working outside on a farm for years made me appreciate the evidence of a hard workin' man, I suppose. ;)

cray has lines.

ebbrown
04-15-2013, 10:52 PM
cray has lines.

mmm...yummy!

DeleyanLee
04-15-2013, 10:54 PM
I think about this now and then, and a radio commercial for a tanning salon got me going this time. It announced "You look like a ghost. Drop by."

My silent reply was: "So what?" Yes, I AM pale as a ghost at the end of the Icelandic winter when I've barely seen sunlight in half a year, and that's perfectly natural. I'm not saying I find tan people ugly, but I don't see anything particularly attractive about it either. Why does pop culture make such a big deal about it?
If anything, when I see a person who obviously makes an effort to be tan, I tend to reflexively associate it with vanity. It's probably unfair of me, but that's my first reaction.

There was considerable discussion last year about the harmful effects of tanning beds, and it left me wondering why people bother with them when I really don't see any benefit.

Thoughts?

Back before the industrial revolution (so I understand), people wanted to be pale skinned because it showed that they did not work outside and get all tanned.

Then came the switch where people who work now spend more time INSIDE than outside, so now they have the naturally pale skin. The priviledged certainly can't be seen with pale skin anymore, thus it became fashionable to be able to spend hours on the beach, in the sun, and sport a golden tan.

It's all stupid, IMO, but it makes sense in the basic human nature way.

Cella
04-15-2013, 10:55 PM
mmm...yummy!

No, no no...


What I meant to say was cray has gross lines. Hairy ones. Yuk.

jjdebenedictis
04-15-2013, 10:56 PM
A lot of people feel quite insecure about going outside in skimpy clothes when their skin is blindingly white.

The ad is just trying to make those people feel even more insecure so that they will give the tanning salon money.

You don't have that insecurity. That's a good thing. The tanning salon can't fool you. :)

As for why people like tans at all, I think it's just a fashion. In Asia, people will avoid getting tans because there, pale skin is fashionable. In Europe, people will try to get a dark tan for the same reason--it's fashionable. (It can also be a status symbol for some people, i.e. to be tan = to be rich enough to vacation in sunny places.)

But I agree with you. It's unhealthy, and it's unnecessary, so I never intentionally try to get a tan. I will quite shamelessly blind everyone on the beach with my bright white butt! :e2moon:

shadowwalker
04-15-2013, 11:02 PM
When I was a kid, two summers I actually "laid out" to try and get a tan. Bored and hot was what I ended up with. Nowadays, I end up with tan arms and face from working out in the garden. I think a light tan keeps people from looking 'sickly', but it's not that big a deal for me. More worried about skin cancer later on, I guess.

ebbrown
04-15-2013, 11:03 PM
No, no no...


What I meant to say was cray has gross lines. Hairy ones. Yuk.

snort

hahaha

Oh, crap. I'm a nurse. Shouldn't I put in a PSA about what a tan does to the skin? Bad for the skin. Very bad. But our society is weird like that. We like things and do things that we are fully aware are bad for us.

thothguard51
04-15-2013, 11:04 PM
Today, tan does not = hard work outside.

Today, tan = carefree life at the beach...

Slamhamster
04-15-2013, 11:36 PM
What about fake tan? What is someone is trying to say about themselves when they turn bright orange? (Other than "I'm from Essex!").

cray
04-15-2013, 11:48 PM
What about fake tan? What is someone is trying to say about themselves when they turn bright orange?


tom jones wants to see you in his office.
now!

Slamhamster
04-15-2013, 11:58 PM
tom jones wants to see you in his office.
now!

Oh no! He's in there with Simon Cowell!

itsmary
04-16-2013, 12:02 AM
Why do people tan? Because our culture says it looks good, and people want to look good. It's not vain to want to like the way you look and look like the people around you. It's normal.


What about fake tan? What is someone is trying to say about themselves when they turn bright orange? (Other than "I'm from Essex!").

Nobody sets out to get a fake looking tan. They try to get bronze/dark, and if they're orange, that means they did something wrong.

Thump
04-16-2013, 12:50 AM
I like a healthy tan on people and especially on myself. That said, I'm talking about a middle point. I don't think super pale is good or attractive, you need more sunlight, sunlight is good! But also not overbaked, like holy cow you're not supposed to sleep in the oven.

People make a big deal about skin cancer etc. but they sometimes forget that need sunlight. We just have to be sensible about it.

veinglory
04-16-2013, 12:51 AM
A natural tan can be nice on a person. But when I read that 2% of melanoma survivors continue to use tanning beds, well... [boggled].

ebbrown
04-16-2013, 12:53 AM
What about fake tan? What is someone is trying to say about themselves when they turn bright orange? (Other than "I'm from Essex!").

I'm from the Jersey Shore? GTL??

PS~I can say that, 'cause I'm from Jersey ;)

Tepelus
04-16-2013, 05:47 AM
I'm quite okay with my pale pasty self. I don't like to tan because my skin tans all blotchy anyway, and I don't like to be in the sun for very long, it gives me a headache. I like to garden, but I tend to garden in the shadier places out of the sun during the afternoon, early in the morning, or late in the evening when the sun is least harsh.

BradyH1861
04-16-2013, 07:18 AM
My wife has very pale skin and can't be out in the sun without using tremendous amounts of sunscreen. The perils of being a redhead, I suppose.

I think she has to use SPF 5,000,000 or something like that. She doesn't tan. She burns. Bad.

lastlittlebird
04-16-2013, 10:18 AM
Having darker skin supposedly helps you to look more slender as well... the same way that wearing dark colors supposedly makes you look slimmer. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but magazines talk about it as though it's true. They might just be justifying their choice of advertising revenue.
Considering how high the rate of skin cancer is here, I really wish that skin without sun-damage would come back into fashion.

Cliff Face
04-16-2013, 11:48 AM
I live in Australia, so I'm automatically tanned just by leaving the house ever, at all.

And I haaaaaaate it! I mean, it's not a super-tan like some people pay good money for (which I think looks very ugly) but I'd rather be pale white.

I'm really jealous of the goths and metalheads who live in colder climates for their pale skin. Black clothing looks amazing on them! Me? Not so much. I just look average...

I'd rather look amazing in the eyes of a subculture and risk the average people thinking I look stupid, to just looking normal and feeling un-unique compared to my personality.

So that's a vote for pale skin! Quick, someone invent anti-tanning beds!

Cliff Face
04-16-2013, 11:49 AM
Or maybe I could just move to Japan.

Flutterlight
04-16-2013, 01:23 PM
I'm one of those super-fair skinned red-heads who can't spend longer than fifteen minutes outside without burning. I don't even freckle that much. The one time I actually "tanned" instead of burning, my skin turned the same color as my auburn hair. It did not look good. And it does not look good when my sister, who is also a red head, slathers herself in fake tan stuff.

But honestly, if you're not a natural red-head I think a tan can look really good as long as you didn't get it from a bottle. My blond sister looks fantastic with a tan. It just depends on your natural complexion and hair color.

Chris P
04-16-2013, 01:40 PM
I've not seen any tanning beds since I moved here, oddly enough.

More seriously, I think tanning beds are a waste of money and expose people to unnecessary skin cancer risks. That said, tanning beds really helped my oldest stepdaughter's psoriasis. My wife enjoyed tanning, saying she felt more attractive with a tan. So although I didn't care either way, she felt better about it so to each their own.

LA*78
04-16-2013, 02:02 PM
Another Aussie here who gets a tan just leaving the house for 5 minutes for 9mths out of the year...

I have to say though, I can generally tell the difference between a beach bunny tan, a tradie's tan, and an active, outdoor lifestyle tan. Afterall, too little sun and you run the risk of low levels of vitamin D ;)
I'm not a fan of fake tans. Sure the sun may be bad, but surely so is soaking chemicals into your skin for the sake of an orange glow...

Liralen
04-17-2013, 12:52 AM
It doesn't take much time outside for me to start coppering up. My grandmother was like that -- I've got her auburn hair, same blue eyes (they run the spectrum from gray to turquoise) and the same complexion she had. She and I are the only ones in the family like that, everyone else burns and freckles.

Yes, people think I'm an alien, lol. A redhead. Who tans. Without trying.

Chasing the Horizon
04-17-2013, 01:58 AM
Tans look silly on naturally pale skinned people, IMO. They also age your skin and can give you cancer. So I'm happy to stay my natural whiter shade of pale.

And I'm laughing at the idea that darker skin will make you look thinner. The only thing that will make me look thin is losing 50 pounds, lol. But I guess there is money to be made in deluding people into thinking something other than going on a diet will make them look thin.

Cliff Face
04-17-2013, 02:01 AM
So you're saying these vertical-stripe T-shirts I just bought won't do the trick?!

Damn!

MaryMumsy
04-17-2013, 02:41 AM
It doesn't take much time outside for me to start coppering up. My grandmother was like that -- I've got her auburn hair, same blue eyes (they run the spectrum from gray to turquoise) and the same complexion she had. She and I are the only ones in the family like that, everyone else burns and freckles.

Yes, people think I'm an alien, lol. A redhead. Who tans. Without trying.

I knew a girl in college with natural red hair, brown eyes, and she tanned beautifully.

Even though I'm blonde I tan easily and get plenty of color just running errands outdoors. Reminds me of a time many years ago I was at the makeup counter in the department store. The very young woman waiting on me told me in all seriousness that I should be sure to use sun screen on my face even when I was 'laying out'. I told her in all seriousness, 'honey, I haven't laid out since before you were born'.

MM

Cliff Face
04-17-2013, 03:11 AM
Oh, wow, I think I just remembered something... Me, laying down next to the pool as a kid, trying to get a tan.

Well, I guess I'm a hypocrite. Stoopid 7 year old me, making a fool of me now!

(I only did it once, though, and I didn't inhale!)

jjdebenedictis
04-17-2013, 07:25 AM
I remember going outside to tan once when I was a teenager, and getting so bored that I went back inside and never bothered trying to get a tan again.

My aunt says going to a tanning salon keeps her skin from getting so dried out during the cold prairie winters. I'm not sure how that works, but maybe it's something to do with vitamin D production?

Liralen
04-17-2013, 08:27 AM
My aunt says going to a tanning salon keeps her skin from getting so dried out during the cold prairie winters. I'm not sure how that works, but maybe it's something to do with vitamin D production?

It probably has more to do with using lotions to promote and maintain the tan ;)

BenPanced
04-17-2013, 08:53 AM
My younger sister spent so much time outdoors in Mexico on her honeymoon, my mother said she came back burgundy. And my sister smokes like a chimney. Yet I'm the one who had a skin cancer scare (negative).

Fran
04-17-2013, 10:23 PM
I'm Scottish, and come in two colours - milk bottle white, and limited edition red lobster sunburn. It's hard to get sunburn in Glasgow, but some people manage it.

I went to Canada in May last year and got sunburned at Niagara Falls. I was really cross with myself, because I try as far as possible to stay out of the sun. My Canadian host's response was "Well, at least you're not blue anymore." :tongue

My family went to Lanzarote when I was 14, and laughed at me for hiding under long sleeves and trousers, and a great big sunhat. Until my brother burned so badly his shoulders came up in blisters, and he had to sleep sitting up for a week.

crunchyblanket
04-17-2013, 10:40 PM
I was born a redhead (hair gradually turned strawberry blonde as I got older) and I have typical Irish milky pale skin. I just have to look at the sun and I burn. I'm also quite photosensitive and prolonged exposure to the sun makes me feel quite ill, so I tend to stick to the shade whenever I can.

I like being pale. I don't give a toss what the 'popular' standard of beauty is (I've never been conventionally beautiful anyway, so what's the point of trying?) My skin's healthy, I'm healthy, and I won't look like Judith Chalmers when I'm older. As for Vitamin D...I take supplements and that sorts me right out.

Fran
04-17-2013, 10:50 PM
I'm also quite photosensitive and prolonged exposure to the sun makes me feel quite ill, so I tend to stick to the shade whenever I can.

Yeah, I have to wear sunglasses if it's even slightly sunny. I get some weird looks, but they're just jealous because I look so cool. :D

crunchyblanket
04-17-2013, 10:52 PM
Yeah, I have to wear sunglasses if it's even slightly sunny. I get some weird looks, but they're just jealous because I look so cool. :D

I've taken to carrying a parasol on really bright days, so yeah, I know the weird looks :D

Also, being pale makes my tattoos stand out more, and the sun will bleach out all the colour. And that colour cost a lot of money.

Snowstorm
04-17-2013, 11:10 PM
I've never liked summer heat or the sun. I'm fine being white as a sheet. But then, my skin doesn't really age either. Years ago, I had a guest at my inn looking at my hands and asked my age. I had just turned 50. He grabbed my hand and accused me of lying about my age! He said "This isn't the hand of a 50-year-old! It's too smooth!"

My sisters love the sun, and they look 20 years older than me. Yeah, avoiding the sun and slathering on the sunscreen has its perks!

Fran
04-17-2013, 11:16 PM
I've taken to carrying a parasol on really bright days, so yeah, I know the weird looks :D

I love that. Now I want a parasol.

Cliff Face
04-18-2013, 01:55 AM
Parasols are awesome. :)

I overheat really easily, which is unfortunate considering where I live. In summer, I basically stay inside as much as I possibly can, and even then I can get a little faint from the heat (with the air conditioner going).

I would've been better off in England or Holland (where mum and dad are from).

Liralen
04-18-2013, 02:16 AM
Oh, I would SO carry a parasol.

I won't, however, use an umbrella in the rain, lol. Well, I'll hold one over Tallulah (the APBT) so she'll go outside and pee. /rolls eyes

ebbrown
04-18-2013, 02:22 AM
Oh, wow, I think I just remembered something... Me, laying down next to the pool as a kid, trying to get a tan.

Well, I guess I'm a hypocrite. Stoopid 7 year old me, making a fool of me now!

(I only did it once, though, and I didn't inhale!)

:ROFL: hehe

Fran
04-18-2013, 03:03 AM
Parasols are awesome. :)

I overheat really easily, which is unfortunate considering where I live. In summer, I basically stay inside as much as I possibly can, and even then I can get a little faint from the heat (with the air conditioner going).

I would've been better off in England or Holland (where mum and dad are from).

Didn't you have the most awful summer? I'm a tennis fan, and the Azarenka v Stephens match had an on court temperature of 44C. That was in Melbourne, which isn't supposed to get that hot. I couldn't even stand up in that heat, let alone move.

My mum's English, but she's Norman blood, so very pale. She does tan, but I don't know if that's genetic or refusal to not do so. :D

Cliff Face
04-18-2013, 03:29 AM
Yeah, the Summers get pretty bad most years. This one didn't start out too bad, but then got really hot for a few weeks.

Melbourne sometimes gets Adelaide's second-hand weather. (I'm in Adelaide.) So if Adelaide has a few 45C days, Melbourne might get a few soon after.

Overall, though, Melbourne stays a bit cooler. (One of the reasons I'd like to move there.)

Fran
04-18-2013, 04:38 AM
Overall, though, Melbourne stays a bit cooler. (One of the reasons I'd like to move there.)

I hear it sometimes rains there as well. :D

Cliff Face
04-18-2013, 08:40 AM
LOL, sometimes, yeah.

That's pretty much the only negative I can see about moving to Melbourne. Oh, and the fact that it's way more expensive to live over there.

I guess I need an umbrella that sheds money when it gets wet.

Fran
04-18-2013, 02:17 PM
I guess I need an umbrella that sheds money when it gets wet.

Don't we all? We had a monsoon here yesterday. I'd be rich. :D

Purple Rose
04-18-2013, 03:20 PM
I was born with a tan, sort of. The colour spectrum labels me "olive" but really I'm just brown. Unfortunately, it's not a rich earthy brown; I'm sallow. I had read somewhere that olive skin does not burn. Lies, such lies! I actually burn quite easily and need frequent applications of SPF 30 when I'm at the beach (twice a year).


Tans look silly on naturally pale skinned people, IMO. They also age your skin and can give you cancer. So I'm happy to stay my natural whiter shade of pale

Totally agree! Especially on my Scandinavian friends who are soooooo blonde and get soooooo brown, like chocolate brown. They look weird. Very unattractive to me, and to all our Asian friends.


I've taken to carrying a parasol on really bright days, so yeah, I know the weird looks :D

Very wise!! I do the same. In Singapore and Hongkong, it is common to see women carrying umbrellas (that's what we call them - dual usage for rain and sun). It is the sun which causes damage and causes premature wrinkling. My husband and daughters distance themselves from me, though. They made me buy a hat when were were in Italy last summer. It wasn't enough protection.

Liralen
04-18-2013, 06:15 PM
I was born with a tan, sort of. The colour spectrum labels me "olive" but really I'm just brown. Unfortunately, it's not a rich earthy brown; I'm sallow. I had read somewhere that olive skin does not burn. Lies, such lies! I actually burn quite easily and need frequent applications of SPF 30 when I'm at the beach (twice a year).

Yeah, there are exceptions to everything. I had a friend in school who had a lovely olive complexion (the kind I wished I had) -- with the dark brown eyes even -- but she burned so easily, and mine's that pale ivory with blue eyes and I tan. Go figure.

jjdebenedictis
04-18-2013, 10:15 PM
I'm sallow. I had read somewhere that olive skin does not burn. Lies, such lies!My mom once worked with a black woman who went to the Bahamas for a vacation and came back scorched. The burn didn't show particularly, but she admitted it really stung.

She was pretty embarrassed it happened, too. Being black, she had assumed it was impossible for her to burn. Not a safe assumption for people who have lived in Canada since age five, as it turns out. :)

Vito
04-19-2013, 04:04 AM
Little known fact: Cella actually has orange skin. Her avatar pictures are total Photoshop jobs. In real life, she looks like a stylishly-dressed Oompa-Loompa.

Purple Rose
04-19-2013, 09:48 AM
Little known fact: Cella actually has orange skin. Her avatar pictures are total Photoshop jobs. In real life, she looks like a stylishly-dressed Oompa-Loompa.

:ROFL:

rosesindec
04-19-2013, 11:25 AM
Naturally tanned is beautiful. (As is naturally pale). But fake tanning and sun baking isn't appealing to me in the slightest. Personally, I find everyone's natural skintone the most beautiful and flattering on each person. But to each their own.