Sunday, March 24, 2013

Looking like the other white meat

I know that when I am tan, I automatically look healthier and skinnier, my teeth look whiter, and my zits are all gone (just like every other human I know)!  I also know that tanning makes you look old in the face, gives you skin cancer, and dries out your skin like nobody's business.  Starting out in my teens and until a couple of years ago, I was a hardcore tanner -- burning myself to a crisp and thinking it would go faster by just applying baby oil.
The smell of Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil was, to me, the epitome of summer even if that meant being bored out of mind lying in the sun for hours.
Skin cancer? Isn't that something that old people get? When I started working, I didn't have time to lay out all day so I started to go to the tanning salons, where I could burn in an environment that, not only made you stink like a burned chicken, but could also give you skin fungi that you would never get rid of, no matter how hard you tried. I would lay in those suckers with my butt up in the air (so I wouldn't get those weird lines under my butt) and I still managed to fall asleep. I would get my base tan and after that, go twice a week to keep it up. Never mind that it was expensive; it was a necessity!  I tanned for years and years until I noticed that I had a lot of freckles that then turned into big brown spots all over my body;  I thought they were OK -- they didn't really bother me that much until I started to get pigmentation spots on my face.  I would get really dark around my mouth so that it looked like I had a mustache.  

When I started to be more careful about tanning, I started out with baby steps, only lying in the shade till about 5 pm; then I'd lay out in the sun till 6pm putting SPF 60 around my mouth so I wouldn't look like Burt Reynolds and putting SPF 50 on the rest of my body so I wouldn't burn. I still did; I ain't kidding anybody. 

That all changed when I became pregnant with Mia; I had a routine checkup at the Dermatologist's and she recommended doing a mole check on the really dark ones that I had. Of course, she found something.......hadn't I been abusing my skin for years?........ Like I had a spare one in the trunk?  I had as many as 12 moles that had to be cut out and sewn shut because they were so deep. 
When I got the results back, the doctor told me she was glad that she had decided to cut a little deeper because it was the beginning stages of skin cancer. 
The doctor told me that I was not ever to tan and to stay out of the sun as much as possible because now I was a "high risk" and I needed to take it seriously.   
Let me just say that I hate it. I hate being white and flabby; it is so disgusting and does not look pretty at all. But it is better than the alternative so I stay out of direct sun as much as possible.   There are times when I slip up and don't think the sun is as  bad as it is, and I end up being burnt a little, but I am working on it.
The funny thing is, I am an absolute fanatic when it comes to the kids and sunscreen. I slather them so thick in the stuff that they look like little Caspers; I make them wear shirts in the water when I see just a hint of pink, but with myself I don't worry so much. 

Before you ask:  I have tried tanning lotion but I suck at it and it looks worse than white.  This weekend  I actually went to a cosmotoligst who recommended a nice tanning oil that would make my face look sunkissed.  Okay, sunkissed if I was Pocohantas!  That shit darkend over night and I ended up looking like Ross in friends when he got stuck in the spray tan booth.
I am a work in progress, and I will find something that makes me feel comfortable and still look good, I am sure of it. 


Sandy said...

I love Burt Reynolds, but not on my sister -- well, maybe on my sister! ;-) Thanks for taking the time to post -- this one really made me laugh, once I got past the scary part!

Dyanne @ I Want Backsies said...

Ahh, Ross in the spray tan booth! That made me giggle out loud.

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