Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A quick request of those who tan and peel…

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

A bitch is not a fan of the tan culture.

I don’t understand how the tanned look is considered healthy when skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. Even if folks are able to tan without risking cancer, that shit ages the hell out of a body. I’ve noticed an increase in so-called age defying skin cream commercials that claim to erase lines and I can’t help but wonder why the fuck people don’t just avoid some motherfucking sun and save your damned money?

Shit.

Confession – I don’t tan. I’m naturally brown, but I can achieve that dark chocolate look very easily (yes, black people tan too)…so I avoid the sun as much as possible. No, I’m not color-struck…I’m color sensitive (wink), which means that I don’t like my arms to be a different shade of brown than my legs. Trust a bitch - that shit happens in minutes and then I end up spending the entire summer with multi-colored limbs that never match. Plus, black people can get skin cancer too.

Cough.

My major problem with tanning is the burning and peeling that comes with it. When I was a wee bitch in high school, fellow students would head to Spring Break looking relatively normal and come back red as a hot link. Then the peeling would begin and these people would get all excited as their second-degree burns healed enough for them to get their serpent on and peel skin. Ugh! Eventually, a nice brown body scar that these students called a base tan emerged and all of us were supposed to ooooh and ahh over that shit.

Lawd, have mercy!

Anyhoo, spring is in the air and that that means the tan season is about to kick in. This bitch thinks this is a good time to address that burn and peel mess.

Ahem.

If you tan and burn, please keep the serpentesque shedding stage of the process to your damn self.

Thanks!

14 comments:

Geeky Girl said...

The conflict between natural vitamin D and skin cancer troubles me. I'd rather not take supplements if I can help it, but there's always some risk associated with live giver Sol.

LisaMJ said...

See I lurvs the beach and so I usually spend a week at some time of the year, usually summer, in some tropical clime and spend 75% of the day in the water, which most white people don't realize would give them a better more even tan b/c the rays of the sun on the water darken you faster and deeper. So I usually get pretty darn dark in the summer and occasionally feel a slight burn on my shoulders. My Mom is pretty light and will occasionally get a burn and I got one when I was a wee lassie myself on my nose. Anywho, I used to worry about getting darker in the summer and being two toned and stuff but now I don't care I'm already black so being a little blacker and even uneven won't kill me. I could never though be like some folks and just sit in the sun baking like a giant turkey or something regularly flipping over. When I'm at the beach and not in the water I'm under an umbrella b/c I can't stand feeling like I'm roasting in the sun. So though I get a tan just by virtue of being out and about I could never imagine just sitting out for that reason. As I told some white friends once, I'd make a terrible white person. ALthough for full disclosure when I was 9 I did sit out and sun myself with one of my little white girlfriends who was trying to get a tan.

Rileysdtr said...

Having a skin tone that makes me essentially burst into flames after a short unprotected sit in the sun (and Happy St. Pat's to all us full Irish!) there was a time I would have sold my soul for a nice even, all-around tan. That would have been high school. To make it worse where I would burn to a nice fuschia, my best friends - blond twins - would get a lovely dark tan from life guarding. I got blisters the size of silver dollars. Not only did I burn and then peel I would on occasion get burned so badly that I still have scarring on my shoulders and back. When I catch some sun in a bathing suit now I look like a piebald pony - the freckles darken, the skin pinkens, and the scarring stays bright white. It's really hard to rock that look.

That said, the most miserable sunburn other than mine I ever saw was my friend Vince, who is a really nice chocolate brown at the cloudiest of times and went out on a boat for the day in the Tropics, not realizing that he could get sunburned. He turned an amazing color I can only describe as crispy, and was really happy I had aloe lotion to share!

Yvonne Rathbone said...

I don't like the sun. Or rather, I like it over there while I am in the shade, preferably that of a large tree with it's natural air-conditioning so that I can really notice how wonderful it is not to be in that sun over there. If I'm out in the sun, I'm in the water, like LisaMJ. And I'm slathered in the most waterproof, spf-Gagillion No rump roast for me!

Mary_Flashlight said...

I wear the highest available SPF, reapply hourly, and would still burn... you know, if I actually ever went into the sun for any significant time. The whole "base tan" thing for me didn't work the whole summer I was lifeguarding. Yes, I was very tan, but I also burned every single day (SPF 45, reapplied hourly) but after awhile you just couldn't see the burn - but I could feel it.
Now, I'm just a pale ass person, and my husband has been told to never ever go in the sun again. Nice that we match.

IseultTheIdle said...

I don't tan. I just get kinda muddy.

I don't worry about the vitamin D thing too much - about 15-20 minutes of diffuse (not direct) sunlight a day will supply all us white folks need, assuming we're not covered over in long sleeves and SPF 900. The darker the skin is naturally, though, the more sun you need to get a MDR of vitamin D.

And I am *so* on board with the not peeling your skin off in public.

bev said...

I LOL'd. I am so very white. So, so very white, only to turn from pink to an angry, blistery red in an instant. I used to try to tan, but I got to know a woman who was my coloring and about 10 years my senior. She looked like a worn and comfy brown leather shoe and she thought she looked fab. I made SPF 50 my friend.

I was once reading aloud to my less white but equally as sarcastic teen son the job description for lifeguard at 6 Flags. One part said that you could not have any disability that prohibited you from being outdoors for long periods of time. I said: "I could be a lifeguard out there!" Sarcastic son says: "No you can't. You burn so easy it's a disability."

I love him for the truth he speaks.

Bianca said...

The tan culture really pisses me off, mainly because I start thinking about people's audacity to question other people's want to stay the way they are. I am Latina and half of my fam on my mom's side is "white" like my mother and I and the other side is "brown" and other Mexican people my age always question my white skin color and why I don't get a tan. Here's some news: if I was able to tan easily without getting cancer, I would have done so already. I find comments like "Oh why don't you go get a tan you're so white" to be obnoxious...Can I not be happy with the way I am? Eh I plan on discussing this further at a different time. Thanks for this post though! People need to be aware of too much sun... Vitamin D is good but protecting yourself against skin cancer is also important...

Ashleas said...

Thank you for confirming that people of African Descent do tan. I have always wondered that but was always to.. I never wanted to ask for few of sounding like a completely ass.

Now that I've sounded like a complete ass..

I love the sun. In a sort of "OMG, It's sunny outside! I'm not going to be sobbing at commercials, or the same four walls anymore!" SAD type way. When that first day that feels like spring comes around, I am out and about and I try to stay out and about until the 30 degrees starts up.

I tan and become this lovely shade of warm brown. but I rarely burn.. and I never burn to the shedding stage. I don't allow myself to burn that much. I never lay out and I usually have the classic farmer's tan going on. I've got cancer in the family (but not skin..).. so in recent years, I've started to slather on the SPF. *Sigh* Reality setting in.

Dianne said...

I tan very easily, and have to be really stupid about sun exposure to tan--but I still avoid the sun, and I have't had a tan in 20 years.
The plus? I'm 46, and the only wrinkles I have are my "so blind I can't help squinting" lines between my eyebrows. I rather like it that way.

Elayne said...

I've had a few blistering sunburns in my life (actual weeping blisters), but I never really tan - I burn, peel, and the skin underneath is glowing-white again.

The worst part is: I'm a peeler. That is, I peel things. Compulsively. If you have a peeling sunburn and you come near me... well, just don't. It will be terribly awkward for us both, and you'll probably wind up getting a restraining order.

My similarly fair-skinned son requests SPF lotion on his own now, because he's learned that if he burns, I WILL peel him, and the only way to stop me is to duct-tape my hands or for him to wear a Snuggie. It's uncontrollable.

Anonymous said...

I am a nurse in the Detroit, MI, area, so I have a large population of black people in my practice. Due to the fact that Detroit has about 3 sunny days a year, I have never taken care of a single case of black skin cancer, but a good percentage of my patients have vitamin D deficiency. Skin that evolved to deal with African equatorial sun is naturally going to present some issues when it comes to living in an environment that caused people to turn from black to white by natural selection over thousands of years. If it was not a problem, Europeans would never have evolved to have light colored skin in northern climes. It does not help that Africans also many times did not develop enzymes in their digestive tracts to handle the dairy consumption that the average northern European have. As most dairy products are supplemented with vitamin D, people who consume and digest dairy products generally do not have this problem. A simple and cheep blood test can tell if this is an issue.

Anonymous said...

Sigh...

I am a deep cinnamon-cocoa brown sista who also knows the annual aggravation of the uneven patchwork tan. The left arm driver's tan. The different colored limbs and torso. Yadda, yadda...

And I also burn like a muthafucka.


Yep. 10 minutes in the sun and I'm crispy like bacon. My dermatologist says it's actually an allergic reaction. Weird. Thus, all of my skincare products are at least SPF 15 (in winter) and I don't leave the house in summer without spraying myself from head to toe with Neutrogena SPF 45 sunblock mist.

Whenever I get a tan/burn, my Euro-descended acquaintences always ask me if I've gotten a haircut or something. I just don't know...

NancyP said...

Let us all be grateful for SPF. I remember Zinc Oxide white cream. You walked around looking like Bozo the clown, what with the completely covered nose.