Another beautiful autumn; the leaves change from green to brown, and summer tans fade as it becomes more and more unbearable to go outside. However, due to the ‘tanning craze’ that has struck popular culture, an increasing number of people are refusing to let go of their crispy brown complexion. As a result, men can now be tricked into thinking tan girls are more attractive and interesting than they really are, and girls can be drawn to bronzed bros all year round.
In recent years the popularity of tanning as well as the number of tanning salons has grown exponentially. Gone are the days of meticulously laying by the pool for eight hours coated in slimy concoctions with the hope of achieving that effortless beach look. Now, in just 7-15 minutes a day anyone can transform their skin tone and coincidentally their personality regardless of the weather outside.
Katie DiAngello, a Freshman Early Childhood Education major with below average intelligence and a very dull personality has noticed the benefits of being tan. “It’s weird. Like, when I was pale, I was just a regular person you know? Now that I go tanning, I always have guys trying to get me to send them naked pictures”, she said. “It’s so fun! I feel like Paris Hilton!”
Chris O’Brien has been a victim of such deceptions. “I started talking to this girl ‘cuz she looked sexy and we ended up dating for almost a year. Then her tan started to fade. Suddenly, I realized that she was boring as hell and not even attractive.” He resentfully admits, “I guess you could say I was blinded by the light.”
But the largest group these orange faced monsters are fooling may be themselves. Tanorexia is an epidemic sweeping the nation, according to research psychologist Dr. Gerard Freedham. It appears that teenage girls and sexually promiscuous housewives have become so consumed by tanning and physical beauty they have lost any ability to think independently. Furthermore, these people can no longer tell how tan they actually are. To them, there is no such thing as too tan, and some don’t stop until their skin crumbles away while watching an episode of The Hills. Dr. Freedham fears this could lead to catastrophic cultural change. “Women are simply hiding their insecurities and lifelessness under a fake orange blanket, but men are still attracted to them physically. Thus, these boring clones of each other will be the ones to reproduce and pass their genes to future generations”, he says. “In other words, we are devolving because of tanning and the false sense of beauty it provides.”
Some groups have taken matters into their own hands. The Albino Coalition of America (ACA) has started a ‘No pigment? No problem.’ campaign set to combat the recent surge in tanning. The group has gained funding from Banana Boat and Coppertone.
On the opposite side of the issue, clothing companies such as Ruehl and Don Hardy are relentlessly pushing the idea that tan is sexy. Mark Hunt, who claims to only “wear the hottest fashions and roll with the hottest bitches”, says that he will never give up tanning regardless of health concerns or otherwise. “No U.V. Rays can hurt me, and if they try to I’ll kick their ass.” Mark then went on to ask what a U.V. Ray actually was and how his spiky hair looked.
Despite the correlation between increased tanning and decreased aptitude, the intense strive for superficial beauty is on the rise. Although tanning is good for those trying to dupe the opposite sex into thinking they are attractive or exciting, the consequences could be destructive. To put it simply, “with great power, comes great responsibility.”
-Brett Jones, October 2009