I had a spray tan for the first time yesterday.
If you know me, I’ll pause and give you a moment to laugh your ass off. Okay, moving on.
I’m Irish and German, probably the last two nationalities that come to mind when you think gorgeous cocoa butter skin. Not a lot of us in those Enrique Iglesias videos.
I’m white and while I’m not that sort of blue skim milk white, I thought it would be nice to look…tan.
So I did my research, spoke to some people and decided that the airbrush spray tan was the way to go.
The whole stand in the booth and wait for jets to spray stuff on you while holding your breath and not moving just seemed like a recipe for disaster. If something could possibly go wrong in that scenario, believe me it would happen to me. I needed a live person.
To make a long story short, I got the spray tan. There was something said about it being completely organic and made of sugar and herbs that I didn’t really get because my mind kept yelling that this was a huge mistake and I was going to look like a complete idiot. Perhaps that should have been my first clue. I don’t think this sort of thing is as traumatic for other people.
It was cold, something a little odd about standing in front of a very nice Russian woman completely in the buff with just a shower cap on, but I survived. Women do this all the time. I can have a tan, damn it.
About an hour after my appointment I looked in the mirror and I looked like a mud person. It was very dark, but kind of…hot.
I looked like one of those tribal women in a Duran Duran video. I was sticky and dying to take a shower, but holy hell I was tan. I went through the rest of the day and then finally showered.
I got out of the shower and I looked…like me with kind of a darker tint. I wasn’t scary orange, but it wasn’t anything fantastic either. I looked artificial. What the hell? Where did the tribal woman go?
I was pissed. Why is it that none of this cosmetic stuff ever works for me? Why couldn’t I just get a spray tan and look glowing and sun kissed?
I settled down, dried my hair and here’s what I got out of this…
If I were meant to be tan, I’d be tan. If something is that much effort, if you find yourself standing naked in a room while someone sprays you down with a bug sprayer thing, only to have most of it wash off in the shower, maybe it’s just not for you.
I’ve never been really good at faking it. Absolutely nothing against spray tans. My Pilates teacher gets them all the time. She’s naturally dark and she says it evens her color out. She looks fantastic. That’s her.
I’m me. I’m white with some kind of cute freckles here and there. When I hike a lot I get this red brown thing going on that comes nowhere near a tan. I look sort of…exerted for a couple of days and then I’m back to white.
I suppose I could return to the spray tan lady and tell her I want it darker or I could buy something to keep the tan on longer or I could never shower again and be a hot mud person. It all depends on the amount of time and energy someone is willing to give. I will never be naturally tan and since natural is really an important part of my life I will need to come to terms with my paleness.
Sigh…self acceptance again.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Dark Night.