Disclaimer: when I tell you that I've got reasons to abandon your tan, I’m not just talking about your suntan; I’m lopping the fake kind in there too. But before you launch your spray tan can at me, hear me out, bronzed ones: give me a few moments, and I will convince you that there’s nothing wrong with being a delicate, creamy English rose. When I’m done listing the reasons to abandon your tan, I hope you’ll consider joining me and my moon-child army. Huzzah!
Ick. Let’s get rid of this one first. Seems like a low blow, but when it comes to constant suntanning, you are basically asking to get fried, and with that comes a significantly heightened risk of skin cancer. Believe me; I know about sun stuff; I come from Australia, the land where the sun was invented. And no matter how just-got-back-from-a-quick-tropical-getaway tanned you are, it’s not going to hide the scar when they cut that nasty little melanoma out. Plus, cancer sucks and is super-scary. Of all the reasons to abandon your tan, this one is the most serious.
No one wants to look old before their time, and we don't all have Meryl Streep's genes. We don’t have to look younger; but the dream is to look happy and healthy, not 10 years older than you are. Prolonged, unprotected exposure to the sun will battle with your skin’s ability to bounce back and retain moisture; and before you’re ready for it, you’ll need to start considering anti-aging creams before you even reach their target demographic. Leave your skin alone now, and it will leave you alone later; treat it badly and it will throw a bigger tantrum than a toddler in a toy store.
All of us will find that in later life, we come to a place un-affectionately known as: THE WRINKLE ZONE. No, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against wrinkles – we can be proud of our happy crow’s feet and should see our little lines as evidence of lives well-lived. But there’s a difference between the results of someone who has had a normal amount of sun exposure and someone who has run their skin ragged. Not taking care of skin when young will result in less-than-ideal skin condition when you get older – think more wrinkles than a thousand un-ironed shirts, and unwanted pigmentation. Plus, we spend so much money on creams to get rid of wrinkles and other imperfections! Avoid all that hassle and just slap on some sunscreen now.
The last arrow in my quiver targets the effort involved in sun-tanning. Honestly, it’s actually quite hard to get an all-over, completely even tan. Somewhere along the line there’ll be white strap lines, or sock tans, or heaven forbid, the dreaded décolletage-to-neck semi-circle. It’s a lot of wasted time that could be spent doing more important things, like catching up on your Netflix or cooking chocolate-chip pancakes.
And now for fake tan! While a more healthy alternative to sun-tanning, I still ask: why bother? It’s a lot of effort, just for a few days of brownness that will get onto your clothes, and make the palms of your hands look like you dipped them in orange food dye. Why bother with it when you can embrace the beauty of a gentle, creamy complexion? English roses, unite!
Seems silly – but getting a professional spray tan is super-expensive; consider the money you could save if you put that cash aside! Ponder what kind of awesome thing you would love to save up for; are you picturing it? Is a spray tan really that good compared to what you’re thinking of? And if you’re thinking of a working hover-board, like me, than the answer is definitely NO.
Western society is drenched in voices that say we should be dark and tanned; that this is the only way to look pretty and healthy. But did you know that in countries like India and China, it is the height of beauty to have lighter skin? People in these countries spend millions and millions on skin-whitening products; while we spend millions and millions trying to make our skin darker! This fact is what finally helped me to realize that there wasn't a thing wrong with my skin tone; that the pursuit of tanning was just an illusion of beauty that I was under no obligation to follow.
Being obsessed with tanning and feeling desperate to change our skin tone is like a pointless wheel that turns and turns, taking our self-esteem with it. And until we can realize that we were made the way we are for a reason, and that we were made beautiful, it will never stop.
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