50 Shades of Tan

During the winter months we are tilted further away from the sun, resulting in shorter days and less exposure to light. So when I walk through the halls of Ames High and see people who look like they just got rescued by Willy Wonka from Loompaland, I think it’s perfectly natural to be suspicious. Let’s take a look at the various shades of tan we have currently coloring our school. There’s the “light bronze”- the least harmless of the bunch, as it looks the most natural. (But if you think about it, where’s the bronze coming from? The fluorescent lighting in the cafeteria?) Then we have the “slightly roasted”- a more noticeable, darker shade starting to resemble that of a pumpkin. (This is when you start to wonder if a tanning salon is being visited.) Finally, we have the “Dorito explosion” stage- when all traces of “tan” go swirling down the drain and all we have left is a vibrant orange. (Don’t let it get to this point. Just don’t.) With the recent closing of Electric Beach Tanning in Ames, I’m guessing that the amount of over-baked girls prancing through the halls will be at an all-time low this winter. However, this could result in a higher percentage of spray tan users, and that isn’t exactly a step up. Maybe healthwise, but definitely not if you’re going for a natural finish. Another negative about the tanning game is the health ramifications. I’m not going to preach about skin cancer, but some of the girls I see literally look like ticking time bombs. Skin cancer is very much a real thing, and just because you’re in high school and you only want to achieve that “healthy glow” doesn’t mean that you are immune to it. Because it’s winter, I think that we should all embrace the season and go natural with our skin colors. This time of the year is all about the joy of giving and enjoying each other’s company, so why should it matter if you’re looking a little more pale than usual?