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Is It Time To Ban The Tan?

Katie Price

The fake tan really has to go, Katie Price.

I need to make a confession before I begin this post; I'm a pretty pale dude. While I'm not Albino, I am what scientists would call "mad Irish-y." And, in addition to a dearth of pigmentation, I'm a ginger. Though the 2 seem to go hand-in-hand there are a few of those apostate daywalkers with red hair and no freckles. To sum up, I feel fairly unqualified to talk about the importance of a tan*, but here I go again on my own.

First of all, whom do women bronze? Is it to show off her tan lines (or lack thereof in the case of Brazilian gals) to the menfolk? Or is it so other women know how seriously she takes every aspect of her looks? It's an important question, because if it's for the blokes then feel free to seriously stop well short of the golden-orange that some women seems to think men think passes for natural. If, on the other hand, the goal is to get other women to back-the sh*t-off by means of showing them the ends that'll be gone to for the sake of attracting guys, then please keep the pigment bling-blinging.

The golden hue of the Mediterranean (or Latin, whatever) complexion usually looks flat silly on people of Northern European descent. Isn't fashion and style supposed to be about accentuating what your mama gave you rather than forcing some idealized look? Sure, wearing all white looks a little weird when you're all-white but that's why there're other whites like mother-of-pearl, cream, ivory and hussy white (the eggshell color that mildly rebellious teens wear to Cotillion).

I'm all for grooming and looking presentable but can everyone just keep it in their pants already? George Hamilton, in some people's estimation, is a legend. And his legen-wait for it-dary fake tan keeps the checks rolling in, so we hear. But it's a little freaky and not for everyone. Jezebel, in declaring an end to the primacy of the fake tan a month ago, mentioned that women used to powder their faces (see Roman – Elizabethan eras, history of) with lead-based paint to achieve a sweet pales look. In India, hammy hambone Shah Rukh Khan (that's SRK to you and me, kids) hawked (and hammed) a brand of skin lightener to stave off the dusk for fashionable Indians. In the words of a disguise-wearing David Starsky, "Just be yourself, man, that's what’s really cool."

You know what's not cool; endangering yourself for the sake of looking good (there is more to life than being really, really ridiculously good-looking and this includes that BoTox business). The powder that patrician Roman women rocked contained harmful chemicals. Sweet sassy molassy that's stupid. And now, per our homies at Lemondrop, British women have upped the ante. There is a healthy black market for a jabs (that's what the Brits call injections) of a drug called Melanotan. Do women in Merry Olde think they're fooling anyone? There's no sun in that friggin' country, so it's OK to be lily, birds. It's not Rio nor is it Lake Havasu, ya'll. I choose to blame this British phenomenon on Katie Price (sometimes called Jordan). Her orange glow, shiny teeth and pneumatic chest have caused British women to think that they're lads are only interested in a certain look. Let's maybe start with the teeth and see where that gets you, no harm in that, mum. And if the UK is anything like the US, there are lots and lots of relatively decent guys totally willing to go out with women who are not hourglassly, bronze statues. Tilda Swinton seems to be doing OK for herself.

One of my favorite hip-hop songs (by a female artist, that is) is "Tango" by Lady Sovereign. She discusses the need to run a woman through a carwash to remove the orange tan from her skin (a not-veiled shot at Katie Price sometimes called Jordan?).

If Jezebel thinks the fake tan is played out and Lady Sovereign's going to march you through a carwash, it's time to rethink being unnaturally tan year-round. Or you could keep jabbing the Melanotan, hitting the tanning bed and enjoy the sexy, leathery skin that Cameron Diaz's neighbor sported in There's Something About Mary. Then again, what do I know? I'm just a poor, pale ginger who got conned into thinking that we're all special and beautiful in our own way.

*Note: There's an old adage about never trusting a man with a tan that we'll all seem get burnt by once in our lives.

Photos: Splash


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