And frankly? I look awesome.
|This is not awesome. I do not look like this.|
However, I want my daughters to love themselves the way they are, without artifice. I work hard at it. I praise my own body so they learn it's ok to love theirs. I emphasize "clean and neat" over pretty when they are getting dressed. But I wear makeup regularly, and is a fake tan much different? I'm a walking brown contradiction.
Crunch time came when we had a fancy ball coming up for Mr Accident's work. He loves to take me out when we are both glammed up, so we decided I should have a tan to polish the look.
Now, I am something of a tanning virgin. I have had one fake tan before but it was a good ten years ago, pre kids, pre marriage, but not pre-Mr A. He remembered the tan lines and he liked it. He was looking forward to his wife coming home brown. But probably not as brown as I was when I strolled back in through the door....
It is impossible to maintain much dignity in a fake tan studio. The tanner asks you to hold poses like you're stopping two lanes of traffic, pretending you have bear claws, then tickling the sky. You're sprayed with a concoction named after a tropical cocktail, then fanned with what appear to be turbines stolen from an unsuspecting jet.
And even though you have asked for "just a touch of colour" you will walk back out that door as brown as an acorn. I also walked out sans undergarments, at the tanner's suggestion, which meant I felt like a thorough freak. I scuttled back to the car through the back streets and alleys, clutching my purse to my chest, dark enough to blend into the shadows. But I'm sure that's a common enough sight around that shop! (Actually, on a second perusal of the photo above, I was about that brown. And wearing about that many undergarments....)
Once I was home I disregarded the tanner's eight-hours-until-showers rule and jumped straight in and scrubbed. Luckily, the acorn brown faded to a golden glow, and I was fit to be seen in public again.
Alas my dignity was in for yet another blow. As I stepped from the shower and leant over to dry myself, Mr A asked what the strange white lines on my bum were. Turns out the tan lines he was looking for had multiplied - last time I had a tan, my butt was... ahem... just ever so slightly higher. This time, the new creases back there had left white gaps on my legs. I had pale butt whiskers! I don't think I've laughed so hard in weeks. Perhaps the tanner should add "bowing" to her list of tan poses.
So, my friends, do you tan?