My Pathetic Tanning Bed Curse

I knew when I walked into that tanning salon I was making a huge mistake, but I went ahead and did it anyway. Earlier that day I had mentioned to a few of my friends that I was thinking about going again and knowing that I am a recovering tanning addict, most of them told me the same thing… Don’t do it, girl.

The common recommendation was to just use a self tanner to get a nice subtle and healthy glow instead, but this whitey wasn’t having any of that.  I didn’t need subtle. I needed The Browns

Okay okay, before you go thinking any little judgy things, let me make it clear that I’m not exactly yearning to be one of these:

via Stop Making That Duckface

via Stop Making That Duckface

Those are not The Browns. Those are The Oompas.

All I wanted was a nice little base tan before I start busting out the skirts and dresses. No one wants to see these blindingly white legs in their raw, natural state. You would all run screaming for the hills if you got a glimpse of these bad boys.

Anyway, as I sit here 16 hours after walking out of that satan salon, I kind of want to give myself a “subtle and healthy” slap to the face. Except that’s probably not the best idea in the world due to the fact that my face is currently the lovely shade of lobster from the agonizing burn of the artificial sun. IT HURTS!

Want to know the most pathetic part?

I’m sitting here typing with my arms lifted up off the table and my elbows floating up in the air because it hurts to let my arms sit at my sides. Know why? Because my freaking armpits are burned too. Ask me how that happened and I’ll tell you it’s because I am a pro and know how to lay in those beds without getting tan lines. Except this time my tanning bed skills came back to bite me.

I look completely ridiculous and my coworkers are starting to notice. One just asked me why I was so grumpy this morning. I said, “Because my pits burn.”

Want to know the most pathetic part, #2?

This salon started me out in a 20 minute tanning bed at the standard 6 minutes for the first session. Because of how fair complected (read: albino) I happen to be, those standard six minutes were all it took to turn me into Lobster. That’s Justin’s new nickname for me. Sweet, isn’t it? *cries*

And the most ironic part?

I put one of those heart stickers on my hip to show the progression of my tan. I know that’s kind of a slutty thing to do, but don’t judge… I like to see results.

After one session, it looks like this:

Do you see how the heart mocks me in all it’s untouched, pasty white glory? Every time I look down it says to me, “Your whole body used to be painless and pure like me, stupid Lobster.” That little white patch is cruel, I’m telling you. The blistering red skin surrounding it serves as a reminder to listen to my smart self-tanned friends next time they warn me about these types of dangers.

In conclusion (because this is turning into a really long essay-type thing), burning red skin happens to be the color of the devil and I think they should start making those little heart stickers with horns. It would be more accurate seeing as artificial sunburns do NOT equal love. They equal devil.

44 thoughts on “My Pathetic Tanning Bed Curse

  1. Guuuurrrl, I don’t even know where to start. I too am albino, I mean….milky, creamy, white. Tanning Beds are satan himself!!! Bad bad bad (and causes wrinkles! Hello? wrinkles!!!!!) Let me share with you my self- tanner of choice. St. Tropez. It’s scary when it comes out as it looks almost like greenish hershey’s syrup. But you can see where you put it, it rubs in nicely, and then you shower and it leaves a streak free wonderful brown (read: not orange).
    Please tell me you did not buy a tanning “package”?

  2. omgggg. i started tanning again at the end of february, and i too was a recovering tanaholic, no joke. So, I went in an 8 minute bed for FOUR MINUTES and i was fried. OMG, my armpits were on fire for two days. The worst part was that I had a skype date with matt that night and he called and the first words he said to me was “how’s my little lobster face?!” and I was all “fbvhrualfburSTFU”.

    But, I recovered and almost a month later… i’m fantastically tan. Is it healthy? hell no. But i’m wearing a skirt today and my legs are tan. i’d call it a win. no pain no gain. :)

  3. OUCH!
    and
    nooooooooo, i love my pastey white porcelin doll friends!! Don’t get sucked in!
    I’ve got one word for you: WRINKLES.
    stoppit.

    Also? I freakin love the heart, oh man did that take me back to high school for a hot second there LOL!!!

  4. I’d rather stay a serious whitey rather than go back to tanning. I was reading in my Shape magazine this month that of all tanning beds tested at random, there was fecal matter detected in all of them. Yep, even the ones that had just been “cleaned”. No thank you. I guess it’s about confidence when it comes to accepting your awesome white legs! I’ve already worn skirts showing my off this year. Holla!

  5. the oompha loompha duck face is hysterical! that may be one of the best sites EVER.

    as i sit here right now, my bootay is yelling LOBSTER at me. yes, i may have been influenced in the same way as you, with the same devil results. :(

  6. Don’t you guys have one of those places in Fresno where they do the spray tan for you? There was one in Bakersfield called Euro-tan, I think. I’ve never tried one of these things, but I guess you go into a room and the thing sprays you with a bunch of different nosils like a shower and bam, you have tan without the pain or the streaks. The friends that got it done always looked really good.

    And after reading all these comments cancer, wrinkles, and fecal matter? Um, gross Morgan! Just gross!

  7. Oh my gosh…that site!! I’m dying over here! I wish I was tan. It’s one of my greatest longings. I burn like crazy. Whatevs. I’ve kind of just given up on it, because frankly being burnt hurts like hell and I’d rather not have skin cancer (which I have a great fear that I will end up getting no matter what I do) haha.

  8. Poor thing! All I have to say is ouch! That’s no fun.

    And duckface? Are you serious? I just spent way too much time on that site.

  9. Ouch! Your ‘heart’ picture looked painful. I’ve never gotten into a tanning bed…only because I’m scared.
    I prefer the sun.

  10. Oh my GOODNESS! Tanning beds are only the devil if you have fair skin, which unfortunately for you means stay away! You poor thing.
    Cocoa butter cream, not lotion, cream, does wonders for sun/tanning bed burns ;)
    It helps you not peel too.
    And it doesn’t smell bad.
    And it doesn’t make your clothes stick to you like green slime/aloe vera.

    Hope you heal quickly!

  11. Prepare yourself for this shocker: I used to work in a tanning salon. Yeah. You’ve seen me, so you know how ridiculous that is. Clients would walk in (TOTALLY OOMPAS) and take one look at my pale ass and be all, “WHO ARE YOU and what makes you think you can sell me tans!?” Here’s the thing, though – I WAS TAN. FOR ME. I am just naturally WHITE.

    So, it took months of working at that tanning salon, being the tan version of me and STILL be ostracized by the tan people to learn to embrace my pale face and my white legs. This isn’t to say that I don’t get burnt every summer, because I do. Once a summer, from outdoor tanning. I get my “base tan.” Which is a burn. And it hurts. I never learn.

  12. Hahahaha…ouch. The heart is cute, and I just spent way too long choking back laughs on the duckface site. It’s kind of genius, and I think I am going to pick through my FB acquaintances and submit some goodies.

  13. Haha, ones of these days I’ll have to show you a pic of my blond hair/tanning bed high school days. Yeah, I was hot ;) To make it worse they had the old school beds where you turn the timer on/start them yourselves, and we totally would sneak in through the back door of the salon and “steal” tanning time. Now, that’s when you know you have a problem.

  14. Ouch Girl! I was ALL prepared to yell at the tanning bed people then I realized they put you in for the standard 6 minutes. :( You poor thing! I remember the days of burning in the bed, HATED IT. I’m not fair skinned either so I fried myself. I recall getting a damn tanning bed lotion called, are you ready for it? BUTTER!!! It had a warming thing in it, a tingle that let you know it was working – basically I think I was just frying my skin in the bed. SO bad. You left looking BEET RED but then it faded into a nice brown – if you were lucky!

    I worked in a tanning bed too – I used to look at myself and think I was so pale even when I was tan. I look back now and some pictures I look horrible – not quite Oompah but HORRIBLE… others I’m like damn I look good.

    I haven’t been to a bed in over probably 5 years – I keep thinking about going back – you have made me rethink this. I hope you feel better soon sweetie! ox

  15. Wow, I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard for some time… but it had a lot of sympathy in the laughter – promise!! I am completely albino and live in New Zealand where the ozone layer is so thin that people who don’t ever burn anywhere else in the world can’t understand why they’re turning red and suddenly have sympathy for those of us with pale faces… my sisters have done the tanning thing and I just never found myself able to endure inflicting the burn on myself voluntarily… hope it dies down real soon and you turn the most gorgeous shade of brown x x x

  16. Wow, just read through these comments…lol.

    I’ll just say I am okay with being white enough to not go tanning but would have no shame with some self tanner ;)

  17. I know this pain. I gave up on the idea of a tan years ago. Wishing you a speedy recovery.BTW – what is with the eyebrows on the duckface chick? I want to slap her for so many reasons.

  18. I know this pain. I gave up on the idea of a tan years ago. Wishing you a speedy recovery.BTW – what is with the eyebrows on the duckface chick? I want to slap her for so many reasons.

  19. Heather, I need a brown nickname for you… brown thighs? we'll work on this one. And I really have no idea how they get THAT dingy looking! Is it bronzer on TOP of oompa? it scares.Erin, I HAVE NO IDEA. They're half circles and they seriously freak me out!

  20. Last night while at a cook-out the hosts’ mother-in-law took us all into her work area and gave all the girls at the party 3 different bottles each of tanning lotion (for indoor tanning). The shipment had apparently gotten dented and she was trying to unload it because she could only sell the bottles for a discounted price.

    Free lotion – sweet I’m half way to “the browns” now I just need to budget in some mulla for the tanning sessions!

  21. Well, seeing as how I used to work at a Tanning Salon, they bulbs in the bed were probably new…that SUCKS! 5-6 is standard first time, obviously. But if the bulbs are brand new, I'd do like 4-5. I've experienced the same thing before in high school. Myself and a friend went somewhere and they just changed the bulbs, which they failed to say, and we went the 20 mins. We were DYING!

  22. Morgan! Nooooo! Tanning is no good. Let me show you my scars from the dermatologist and that will keep you from ever laying foot in a tanning bed again!

    You should try spray tanning at Sunsational Tans on First/Knees. I really like it!

  23. You poor baby! I bet you are growling and bitter from your lobsterness!!! I hope you come to your senses and return to your roots with sunless tanning lotions!

  24. I feel your pain. I’m white, and I’m not the pretty milky smooth white…I’m the uneven complexion, sun rays bounce off, you can see every hair on my leg when I don’t shave white. It SUCKS. I know the risks of tanning beds, and yet, I still feel attracted to them. Luckily, I can’t afford a package, so that’s good. I might need to try that stuff Eliza was talking about!

  25. There is a lady who works at The Gap here – and she is just as tan if not TANNER than those girls. And to top it off, she wears the silver/purple stripper lipstick. She gave me a fright today when she snuck up on me to ask if there was anything she could help me find. I hope she didn't notice that she terrifies me! ;)

  26. Oh my word… those orange girls! I had no idea the duckface was such a trend. Blech! I’m another white pasty girl and I’d rather stay that way than be lobster red. Tanning salons scare me and reading all of the comments here has only reassured my fears!

  27. As the palest person on earth and a former college cheerleader (those skirts and half tops during winter sports = disaster), I’ve had a few bad run-ins with tanning beds myself. Thank goodness for Chicago, where I can now fully embrace my paleness.

  28. Lol! You are hilarious! I just happened to discover your blog today and I absolutely love it! Thank You!

  29. I on the other hand am NOT an albino, but I will never go to a tanning salon again. Last year, I had moved into a new apartment and one of the local salon chains had sent me a “welcome to the neighborhood, enjoy ten free tans!” sort of thing and though I hadn’t been to a salon in YEARS, I thought my experiences from back then meant I would be totally fine. Wrong. First visit, everything was fine, skin was a bit itchy, but I didn’t think I’d been in there long enough, cause there was basically no change. Second time, I asked for a few more minutes, thinking that would be the perfect amount of time. Again, wrong. I only burned a little and it wasn’t really very painful, but the next morning I had a fever, was puking every 5 minutes and was a lovely shade of lobster. Never again.

  30. I hate tanning. I try to avoid it as much as possible — shade, hiding, staying inside, magazines…

    I tan very easily, which might seem like a boon to many of y’all, but I hate that I’m burning my skin & causing early wrinkles/age spots, because the more damage I do to my skin, the faster I age…

    Check out this scary pic that scared ME: http://bit.ly/djJfSt

    P.S. There’s no such thing as a base tan. All tanning = burning your skin/your skin’s response to burning

  31. WOW, 6 minutes?? What kind of tanning bed were you using? Dang. I’m pale, red head pale, and I lay for 20 minutes without a burn. The least amount i’ve laid is 10. That has to be a strong bed!! Ouch =(

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