Friday, December 6, 2013

I Was Addicted to Tanning

Before I get to todays topic, I want to acknowledge the ice cubes, snow, and rain hitting our rooftop right now. Schools and businesses are cancelled/closed today, and most likely tomorrow. Although tomorrow is Saturday so school is a no-go anyway. I know some of you up north are laughing at us down here in the south, but just remember that we don't get winter storms like this often so our cities don't have the equipment to clear the roads. The million dollar equipment isn't necessary when we only have one maybe two storms like this per year.

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.

Here's proof:

 My favorite...


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
At least you can see my eyebrows, but still I knew it wasn't ok, so I stopped. Just like that. I was tired of wasting money on it. I was tired of looking tan in the winter. And I was FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE worried about how my skin would look in the future. I also saw the beauty in natural skin colors and how pretty light make-up was. Lauren Conrad and Taylor Swift helped me see that.

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?


  1. I'm right there with you, i finally took almost a year off last year but then with the wedding and everything wedding related going on this year i got right back in it. proud to say i haven't gone in a month and every day it gets a little easier to be ok with being 'white' but i still have a few bottles of instant tan and proudly bought 2 spray tans for a wedding in march, not a month of tanning!

  2. Oh my gosh this is 100% me! I finally gave it up almost two years ago after I got married. I had tanned one day and I was SO itchy I was up ALL night sitting in the bath because I couldn't stop the pain from itching. Never again. I have tons of moles so it scared me, too. Thanks goodness everything is fine, but what the crap were we thinking?!

  3. Good for you, girl!!!! You look amazing now!! :)

  4. You look awesome now! Tanning was all the rage in high school and I did it a few times but I have such fair skin I never really got tan so it didn't work for me but that's a good thing :-)

  5. Oh the things we think are so amazing when we are young and dumb. I was very much like you, but never tanned till I enter college and gave it up about 2 years ago. Banana Boat gives me all I need for a fake lotion tan. No beds ever again for me!

  6. Oh GURL! I used to be the SAME way. I can't even tell you how much I regret it!!!!! Doesn't it feel so much better being natural?! Other than special occasions where I get a spray tan I'm pretty much glow in the dark. I've been thinking about doing a post like this, too!

  7. I know I'm like a crazy person for saying this but I really don't understand tanning at all. I get so bored laying in the sun and would never pay money to tan! I'm so glad that you embraced your natural skin color! It's absolutely beautiful.

  8. I used to be the same way and I am naturally tan. I used to lay out on the beach with baby oil and iodine it was bad how dark I got. Just glad i didn't do permanent damage to my skin.