Let’s face it: tan skin hasn’t really gone out of style since the heyday of the ’80s when girls slathered baby oil on themselves and baked in their backyards. There was possibly a brief stint in the ’90s–the heroin chic era–when a golden tan wasn’t quite as desirable, but it’s never really disappeared. Now it’s come roaring back with a vengeance.
From the boom of Brazilian models like Gisele and Alessandra Ambrosio to the caricature of tanning portrayed on Jersey Shore, a glow has never been more desirable. And thanks to a certain very tan British family, the trend is guaranteed to stick around for awhile.
The Daily Mail reported on Friday that sales of self-tanners increased at Debenhams by more than 200% after Pippa Middleton showed up at the royal wedding looking like she’d spent a month in the Caribbean. If you look at close-ups of her skin on the wedding day, it looks like a self-tanner (the orangey hue gives it away) rather than a fake bake, but there’s definitely some wrinkled evidence in Pippa’s face that she likes her UV rays, too.
She’s not alone, either. At the beginning of May–which coincidentally is Skin Cancer Awareness Month–the American Academy of Dermatology released results of a survey of young women’s tanning practices. About 80% reported having tanned outside, and about 30% admitted to using tanning beds. These statistics are supported by the fact that skin cancer rates have never been higher, despite the constant bombardment of information about the benefits of SPF and all the products which offer sun protection.
The combination of the above factors, plus a fashion season punctuated by bright white and pops of color–which look great on tanned skin–ensures that tanning is going to remain popular indefinitely. One would hope that this also means that women who are naturally graced with tan skin because of their ethnicity will get more play on runways and in the glossies.
What’s your skin beauty ideal? Is it Pippa?