The Pressure of Looking Tan

“I can’t wear shorts yet. Not without putting some self-tanner before. I’ll look like a piece of cheese otherwise :-o”. To that, I just looked confused. My friend was telling me she can’t wear shorter skirts or jeans, in the middle of summer, nonetheless, because of what strangers MIGHT say of her legs.

It wasn’t a matter of hiding scars or cellulite or anything like that (and even if that were the case, why should we care what strangers say?! Are they going to be part of our lives? Are we going to see them again? No!). It was a matter of looking tan when you should look tan and look natural the rest of the time, a matter of following the rules. Ridiculous. When did tanning become mandatory?!

I thought the craze with tanning beds had passed. Maybe they had. My friend was adamant on using self-tanner from a bottle. I guess having a bit of color doesn’t hurt. But should we stress about it?

I’ve been wearing short dresses and tank tops for two months now and never thought about how white I am. I mean, I hope to get a bit of sun next week, when I leave for Italy, but not sooner. I won’t pretend to be tan when everything I’ve done so far is get out from the car, take three steps and go inside my office, staying there until after sunset. I haven’t been to the pool, haven’t stayed leisurely, like a cat under the midday sun. I’ve worked and went out for drinks way after sundown. That’s the truth.

Women already feel the pressure of looking perfect in bikini season – shaved, toned, poreless. Let’s not add another rule to our summer regime. Especially when some of us struggle with a restrictive diet, too, to get “that summer body”.

Put the self-tanner down. Leave one more worry behind. Spend that time sipping a mojito, reading a book, watching Sex and The City for the millionth time. Or watching men admire your curves – you sexy, hot piece of… cheese!

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