It’s ok to still be a whiter shade of pale
THANK goodness orange faces are going out of fashion.
Sales of fake tan have plummeted and the paler look is becoming fashionable once more.
The number of bottles of fake tan sold in 2014 fell by nearly a quarter from the previous year which is good news for us lilies.
OK, I’ve never wanted to look like Coco Chanel who popularised the Riviera tan but, like most people, I’ve had moments when I’ve made an effort to be a darker shade of pale.
In the school lunch break we teens would get out our little screw top bottles containing a homemade tanning concoction – a mixture of oil and vinegar – roll up our sleeves, hitch up our skirts and literally fry our skin to alarming, and competitive, shades of red. As young women with no worries about skin cancer or premature ageing, we continued to spend hours prostrate on balcony, beach or bench, soaking up the damaging rays. Midday sun? Lovely. The hotter, the better.
Once on holiday with my parents, dad became ill after too long in the blazing sun at Eastbourne. He was shivering alarmingly although he had a high temperature; it was the only time I saw anyone suffering from serious sunstroke. As package tours abroad became popular, and lotions, bought and homemade, were replaced by safer sunscreens with mysterious factor codes, it was more vital than ever to return from a holiday with a tan to impress your friends.
Unlike Mr F, who can turn brown while sitting in the shade wearing a hat, I had to work hard at it. I can remember on one occasion the shame of returning from Majorca with just a hint of beige. I did then have a few tries at faking it, although these usually failed to impress. My blotchy face and patchy legs ensured everyone knew I wasn’t sporting a genuine Riviera tan, so I gave up.
Sun lamps, sunbeds and sunbathing might be out of favour, but there will always be those who want to be bronzed and spray tanning is the one area of growth in an otherwise declining industry.
Don’t think I’ll bother – unless I’m asked to appear on Strictly. Ha. We don’t need to look like Katie Price or ‘cheap as chips’ David Dickinson to pop down to Ruislip Lido, do we?
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