As a teenager in the 80's, achieving a super dark tan, and sun-kissed hair was the pinnacle of hotness. I have always hated tanning for the sake of tanning though (except if the modern form of tanning means semi-napping in the sun after a couple of cocktails...YUMMY FUN). Imagine how ridiculous (and who knows--maybe lots of girls are STILL doing this): on a scorching hot day, I'd sigh and figure I'd better take advantage of the rays.
So, I'd get my bathing suit on, grab a towel and a book, and head out to the back yard. I'd set up my towel on the grass, lie down and go to work. After about five minutes I was super bored, and hated the heat. It was impossible to read, flat on my back, unless I held my book at arm's length, directly over my face, creating an eclipse of sorts between me, the book and the sun. Then my arm would get tired, and I'd have to give up reading and just lie there. All sweaty. Squinting with my eyes closed because I couldn't risk getting a sunglass tan on my face. Then after sizzling like that for a while, I'd flip over so I could tan my back as well, getting a kink in my neck, and pretending I just loved that hot, hot sun. So, after half an hour I'd run back in the house to peek under the straps and see if there was any evidence of a TAN. No tan. Sigh. Back out to the heat. I'd probably only last about an hour tops, then would have to come in and lie down from the exhaustion of being baked, like a muffin, in the sun. I might get the slightest hint of a bathing suit outline, but mostly I'd be more pink than brown, and still have a back full of teenage zits.
There would be tales, from the tan elite, of how they'd use baby oil,or tanning oil, and then head out into the sun, and just lay out there all day. Does anyone else, who's in the 40-something vicinity, have any memory of their parents slapping sunscreen on them at any point in their young lives??? I guess it's possible, but I certainly don't recall. How about back yard pool parties--did we EVER bring scunscreen then??? Oh sure, maybe we did, but only if it smelled like COCONUTS, and had an SPF of 15 or less (ideally, 7). The only reason we wore it was for that coconutty smell--good heavens--sunscreen PREVENTED good tans! What a horrible product!
Now who remembers this ad from "Bain De Soleil?" It's pure hilarity now!
So, while working on your tan all summer, it was also important to attain beach babe hair, radiant with blonde highlights. So, off you went with your spray bottle filled with lemon juice, and every now and again, while baking yourself, you'd saturate your hair, and hope the sun and the juice would magically combine to give you the radiance you desired. Then, you'd run in the house to see how blonde you'd become, only to find that there was no discernable difference. How could it not work?!? Every girl you talked to swore her hair got wicked good highlights thanks to juicing it up in the sun! And then a wondrous product appeared on the drugstore shelves: "Sun IN!" Oh joy! So, we all bought a bottle, raced home and waited for the next scorching, cloudless day, and we SATURATED our hair with that sh*t! And behold! It worked! Erm, it kinda sorta worked, but actually our hair was now ORANGE.
Yeah, after several sessions of Sun In, my Mom advised me to stop using the stuff because my hair was ORANGE. However, she had to admit that the orange looked kinda good.
So, now that I am older, wiser, and about to give up on being vain, as that anger line in my forehead only gets deeper, I don't lie out and tan any longer. I wear sunscreen on my face all the time, and I wear it on all visible parts of my body if I'm going to be in the sun for longer than 15 minutes. Tanning = bad. UV = bad!!! However, while on vacation, I was forced to spend a great deal of time in the sun swimming with the kids. I lathered on a lot of sunscreen, but just the same I started to get a fairly decent tan. Hmmmm...."you're looking kinda sexy," said a voice inside my head, that sounded A LOT like "80's karen." Then one day that voice said; "NO! Don't put on that less revealing bathing suit today, it will wreck your existing TAN LINES!" And then, toward the last day, I looked in the mirror and saw that my highlights had turned noticeably blonder!
By the time I got home, I was thinking I was a teeny bit hot, and my hair was supa sexAY. I straightened my hair and made it look 'wind tousled,' and then one day I thought, to hell with fat armpits--I'm wearing a TANK TOP! So, I put on my TANK TOP and damn it, my tan is already starting to peel. I had super peeling shoulders. Not only that, but my hair doesn't look as blonde in the mirror at home, and it really, really looks like I need to colour it again, as I have a good half inch of roots. Hmph.
Guess I'll go back to sitting in the shade.