A Short Opinion Essay on Tanning

Looking at me, there is no question that I am very pale. Even in the summer, I glow in the sun like Edward from Twilight. For reference, in Fenty beauty’s famous shade range of foundations, I am the second to lightest.

Recently, I overheard a conversation between a white student and a teacher about how the student just felt so pale in the winter. They said they had gotten a fake tan. It was obvious. What makes white girls so interested in tanning? What makes skin bleaching frowned upon while laying in a tanning bed, or getting a spray tan are normal spa day activities?

It has been speculated that this is due to classism. Since the industrial revolution, many jobs have been moved inside to factories or offices, keeping the majority of the working class out of the sun. Wealthier people have more free time to be outside and tan. This is just a theory, but I find it plausible.

Being dark is only seen as beautiful on white people, while on Black women, for example, having dark skin is seen as unfeminine and undesirable. It’s a double standard that I don’t think is acknowledged enough. I recognize that this is a small problem in the grand scheme of things, but I believe everyone should be comfortable in their own skin, not by changing themselves, but by changing society.

I don’t think I’ll change everyone’s opinion with this essay, and it probably won’t stop girls from getting their pre-prom tan, but I hope it makes you stop and think about the white obsession with tanning.