Whew. Now that I got that out of my system, it's time for a little confession.
I was once addicted to tanning. If Intervention was around, then I'm sure I would have been on it.
I looked worse than Snooki and JWoww combined.
Worse than my favorite Super Bowl character.
Worse than these brown crayola markers.
and almost as bad as Tan Mom.
WHAT. IS. THAT.
It's hard to look at these pictures, because I now know the damage that was done to my skin. Not only was I addicted to tanning but also the duck face. I'll save those pictures for a different day.
It all started my senior year of high school. I worked during the summer at an after school program so I could spend my money on things I wanted throughout the school year. Mainly tanning packages, ripped Abercrombie jeans, and long white tip nails. Hashtag priorities. My mom refused to pay for such nonsense and she made it known that if I wanted that stuff, then I would have to pay for it.
So I did.
I would tan EVERY DAY. Unless we had a basketball game or practice that ran late. It got worse when basketball season was over and prom season was on the horizon. Not only would I tan, but I would get spray tans along the way, just to get that "glow". I would spend HUNDREDS on lotions, thinking they would make me look darker. I even used one of those nasty Playboy bunny stickers on my hip to see the progress of my tan. Disgusting.
I wouldn't use the normal tanning beds. No, no, I would use the extreme tanning beds. Ya know, the ones with the brightest bulbs and that cost nearly $100 a month to use. I would only have to be in there for 10 minutes and I would come out looking orange and what I thought was beautiful.
It got to the point that if I didn't tan that day, then I would feel pale. I would be up all night thinking about tanning the next day. I'm not sure if I was competing to be the tannest girl in the class or in the state of Texas, but I definitely had everyone beat by a long shot especially in the warm month of February. I was so tan that I was no longer considered tan, it was nearing a different culture/race. I would buy dark skin make-up and bronzer. And worse, light lip gloss.
It wasn't until after prom that I stopped going as much. I think it was the pictures that I saw the next morning and thought "not ok". If only prom was sooner. By college I was still tanning but not as much. Thank the big man above that there were no "good" tanning beds in the small city of Canyon, TX. I also didn't have money to spend on my skin. I bought a few tanning packages but was so busy with school I rarely went. Don't worry though, I was still rocking those white tip fake nails.
I graduated three years later looking my normal color...
... confused and unsure about where my life was taking me. I don't know why considering two days after that I was on-air reporting for the CBS station in Amarillo. Call that bragging, but I worked my butt off to get there.
Like most recent college graduates, I could barely pay the bills so tanning wasn't an option. It wasn't until I moved to Abilene that I thought I would get back into tanning again. A few trips to the salon, and bam, I looked like this...
|My last tanning trip EVER was right before this picture was taken|
I've been to the dermatologist several times concerned about certain moles on my body, but thank goodness everything has come back fine. I'm lucky now, but I don't know what's in store for my future. What I do know is that I'm wearing lots of sunscreen, applying anti-wrinkle cream (already), and warning others to stay away from this dumb addiction.
So what do I look like now? Most of you know but for those who are just stopping by today, here's an update:
You can see that my skin already has a natural tan to it. Why didn't I see that in high school? I'll never know. I will NEVER get in a tanning booth again nor will I allow my daughters (if I have any) to do the same. If they want to be tan, they can go outside and soak up the sun... with sunscreen on of course.
Before I end this post, here's one last comparison for the road...
Orange vs Natural. Which one do you vote for?