Why is ‘You’re so Tan’ a Compliment?
Here in South Jersey, once the weather warms up a bit many people spend their free time laying out in the sun getting some vitamin D. The goal among many people here is to become golden. You hear many people, especially women, complain that they are not tan enough and that they look so gross and pale. As a person of the alabaster persuasion, this has confused me. What's wrong with being like a beautiful porcelain doll?
You will hear people compliment these tan people with the exclamation, "Wow, you look so tan!" Why is this a thing? I have had people say to me that I look tan. First of all, they are bold face liars. I never look tan. Well, except for the three times I had a spray tan because I got it super cheap on Groupon. It was a massive mistake. Second of all, why is this a compliment? Do I look gross in my natural pale form?
I blame shows like Jersey Shore for making being tan more desirable than it already was. Maybe I'm just bitter because I don't "tan" and I just want to be like all of the "cool" kids. I burn and then I go back to my alabaster skin. Maybe I just don't want to get premature wrinkles. Yes, tanning will give you wrinkles.
When I was in high school, I was a massive Twilight fan. I spent my summers under a beach umbrella so I could be as pale as the character. It's okay to judge me right now, I am mildly judging my high school self. A few years went by without me getting much color and I was happy about that. Then the day approached where I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. I spent an hour or two on the beach in June without sunblock. For someone with my complexion, it does not take long to turn into a tomato. If you guessed that I had the worst sunburn of my life, well you are correct. I had sun poisoning and blisters all over my body. I spent the next two weeks avoiding hot showers and wearing loose fitting sundresses without wearing any under garments because it hurt to bend down to put underwear on...
I also compare getting tan to smoking. Smoking was once looked at as a cool thing to do, but it causes cancer. Being tan is now looked at as cool, but it causes cancer. See the similarities.
So, please don't tell me I look tan. You are not only lying, but I also don't understand why that's a compliment.