Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Perils of Self-Tanner

If you saw a picture of me you would probably think, "Cute girl (ha!) but wow, is she WHITE!" and that would be because I am.  I am really really white.  So pale in fact, that I sort of glow in the dark and perhaps resemble a beluga whale when in a bikini.

I sunburn.  And then I return back to white.  Well actually, my shoulders and arms develop a lovely tan, my chest and tummy look dirty white, and my legs remain WHITE WHITE WHITE.  And it is on these legs that the peril of self-tanner lays.

People think white skin is pretty - think Nicole Kidman or Cate Blanchett.  It is pretty, until you have to look at these white sticks known as legs (but mine are not sticks) with some cellulite on the thigh.  Nicole and Cate don't have cellulite.  Bitches.  But I do.  Most women do.  And it is a well-known fact that tans help hide cellulite and make one appear thinner.

Therefore is it no wonder I would like to have some tan?

I won't do the fake n' bake thing - well I do from time to time, but my fear of wrinkles far outweighs my need to be brown. Plus I have mentioned that my legs don't tan - ever.  So I must turn to the tan in a bottle.  Which, when you think of it, is sort of creepy, no?  I mean you are dying your skin from a cream in a bottle.  Bleck.

I don't let that thought stop me.  

My first run-in with the self-tanner happened in grade 10 circa 199? when I knew I was going to the waterslides (good old Fun Mountain as it was called) with boys.  My mum is not a woman who takes too much in appearances so she could not help me on this front.  I ventured to Wal-Mart all by myself.  First mistake?  Wal-Mart.  But I was 15 and on an allowance!  Then I took the advice of an oompa-loompa looking sales lady in her early 60's (maybe she was 30 come to think of it, but she was so leathery it was hard to tell) and bought a gigantic bottle of No-Ad-Sun (or something) for $5.99. Mistake #2, 3 and 4.

At 15 I had no idea about self-tanner - therefore no idea about A) exfoliation B) really rub that cream in evenly - not like regular moisturizer and C) wash your hands after.  Needless to say, when I woke up the next morning and uncovered my body expecting a tan worthy of Sports Illustrated I found a tan resembling leprosy.  I ran down to the kitchen and showed my parents who laughed at me - even though I was crying!  That is when mum finally decided to shed some light on exfoliation. I spent the next few hours, and day, in the shower rubbing my skin RAW trying to erase my Wal-Mart fiasco.  To no avail.  That No-Ad-Sun was powerful stuff.  I went to Fun Mountain and the boys thought I had a rash.  I didn't have a boyfriend until much, much later.

And now, nearly 15 years later (nearly being the operative word here) my application of self-tanner is still not much better.  I have had some luck but not once have I been able to apply it without some rogue spotting of tan somewhere that is supposed to be white.  I follow the steps.  I have read all the articles about the perfect application.  I take care in washing my hands - or at least I thought I did.  

Before I apply the stuff I shave my legs, then exfoliate even more, then I rub that stuff in hard and evenly, then let it dry.  Unfortunately it is not good enough.   The back of my calves are spotty, I have a massive round sludge on my forearm, and the inside of my wrists look like a science experiment gone wrong.  Unlike No-Ad-Sun though, this Bath and Bodyworks crap does leave a delightful colour where I did it right.  If I could just get it right!  Any advice readers??

Maybe I simply have to learn to be happy with my white skin.  My white thighs.  My white cellulite.  On second thought, do any of you readers know anything about liposuction?  Or that other fat/lipo thing Britney does?  Help!

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