Confessions of a shameless sun-worshipper
Life is better with… after ‘a cupcake’ and ‘you’, the third result which Google predicts is ‘a tan’. And I couldn’t agree more.
A quarter of British women don’t wear sun cream on holiday according to Macmillan cancer research, and I am unashamedly among them. Though I live in hope of widespread government installation of sun cream application machines (akin to the one Ross encounters when getting a fake tan in Friends) for now the thick, sticky pain of sun cream only hinders my aim to be as brown as a berry and so I often forego it.
Irresponsible yes, ignorant, no.
I’m well aware not only of the serious risks of skin cancer but also the likelihood that when I’m older my skin looking like, without sidestepping the issue, a gnarled, leathery scrotum. Recent images of a 69 year old, who had driven a truck for 28 years exposing just one side of his face to the sun, were staggering.
I’m well aware not only of the serious risks of skin cancer but also the likelihood that when I’m older my skin looking like, without sidestepping the issue, a gnarled, leathery scrotum
So why continue to sizzle sans SPF 30?
The same reason that often I treat my liver like a rare species which needs to be preserved in alcohol, I just don’t really think about my body aging. I’m reasonably fit and eat well, but that’s nothing to do with the future. I just want to look and feel my best here and now, and tanning contributes massively to that.
Clothes look better, you no longer resemble a drippy ice-cream in those pastel shades but a true candy kitten. Your hair, eyes, nails and teeth are lighter, brighter and whiter. You glow like a pregnant woman without the baby.
Fake tan only makes the cut in desperate times when you must sacrifice your sheets to a smudgy, sludgy massacre and hold your head up high amidst the taunts of “oompa-loompa-doompa-dee-doo”.
But really it is the method in getting a real tan which distinguishes the two. After lying, reading, chatting and frolicking in the great outdoors it is a small yet significant achievement to see the ghosts of skin colours past where your bikini lay.
For now I am still too duped by the infallibility of youth to worry about the consequences and will continue to perform a sun dance each morning until this miserable weather clears off. Then I will grab my towel and book and relax. Cook for two hours, turning occasionally, until crispy at the edges.
Author: Anna Foster