By Takiya Smith
Before you come to the conclusion that I could not possibly have a clue as to what it means to tan, let me tell you that I have actually had a spray tan. Yes, yes, I know, that as you glance at my column picture, then back at the title of this article, you may sense a bit of confusion. Probably the same confusion I expressed when a close friend of mine offered to give me a spray tan.
Tanning, in itself, is the act of darkening the skins complexion with the aide of natural sunlight or pigments applied by a light mist sprayed directly onto the body. In traditional times, and still popular today, sun tanning yielded the quickest, most effective and most natural hint of bronze glow to wipe away the pale, lackluster complexions of winter. However, not effective for all, sun tanning is also found to yield less pleasing results for those with very sensitive skin that does not allow the suns rays to penetrate melanin levels, but only burns the skin. Ouch! With time and technology, tanning salons now offer spray tanning, which is safer, less time consuming and an adjustable measure for practically everyone.
As to my unplanned and baffling introduction to spray tanning, being African American, and having a much darker complexion than even your average “black girl”, tanning rings quite unnecessary, to me, you would think. When I thought of tanning, I thought only of the fact that it was to “darken” the skin. However, as I found out, it could also be used to give the skin a healthy, fresh glow without darkening. With the assortment of pigments, ranging from tints, glosses and colors, my friend selected a beautiful bronzer that only glazed my skin to give it a sparkling, bronze glow that brought me compliments galore. The gloss made me look as if was born with effortlessly flawless and healthy skin without the aide of lotion, oils or products. It was great for showing off summer skin in my summer attire.
Thanks to my newfound knowledge, and hopefully, now yours, you will take into consideration “thinking outside the box” and trying some new things on for size. Tanning is just one of the many cultural barrier breaking myths in the beauty industry that was thought to be only for one, which I have now found to be for all.