03 Aug
The Spray Tanorexic

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My sister has recently started getting spray tans at a salon. She thinks she looks amazing, but everybody else thinks she looks like a 150-lb. Oompa Loompa. Should we say something or just let her be happy and orange?


Orange You Glad You’re Orange?


Dear Orange,

The Spray Tan. Oh, lawdy, the mothereffin’ spray tan. I have to admit that I’ve been on the receiving end of a pigment-filled hose a couple of times myself, however, once I realized I looked like Snooki’s illegitmate grandfather, I decided that cinnamon-hued skin wasn’t for me. No, I’ll just stick to my Whiter Shade of Pale, thank you very much. At least it makes it harder to find me in a snowstorm.

But let’s talk about your sister: it’s no wonder that she thinks spray tans are cool. I mean, just watch TV for a few minutes and you’ll get your fill of 6’5″ carrot men reading the news or trying to pass legislation. It’s like our entire country had sex with a race of Nacho Cheese Dorito aliens and now everybody glows in the dark and smells like rancid chow mein. A big waste of 50 bucks, if you ask me, but like I said—I’m happy in my honkyness.

Unlike your sister whose self-esteem is actually helped by turning herself another color. And to that I say “fine.” Vaya con Dios, Miss Tangerine. Get on down with your orange self. The best thing we can say is that at least she’s doing something slightly more healthy than frequenting an indoor tanning bed and baking herself to a crisp.

However, if you think there’s a chance—even a slim one—that she could find out about other people making fun of her, I think you need to intervene. You could do this very gently, like “Hey, sis, not everyone thinks you look very good with that spray tan” or you could do it very bluntly, like “Hey, sis, do you know the guys at the carwash call you ‘Carrot Top’s Crotch’?” Either one would work just fine.

But ultimately, if she’s an adult and what she’s doing isn’t hurting herself or anyone else, my advice is to just keep quiet and let spray tanning dogs lie. (But, um, not on the good couch, okay?)


Wendi, TMH

5 Responses to “The Spray Tanorexic”


Comment by Crystal.

I never understood how looking orange could be better than looking pale. We white girls like some color, I get that, but does it have to be so B-reality starish color?


Comment by Betty Herbert.

Leave her to it, she’s happy. If she gets lonely, she can hang with the other orange folk. There’s pleny of them.
Also, a cautionary tale. I once had a friend who was a bit over-keen on the sun bed in our local gym. She kept saying, ‘Ooh, you’re so pale, you must come along and try a tan.’ Eventually, I ran out of polite responses. ‘Look,’ I said, ‘to be honest, I’m not convinced by the sunbed tan. You look a bit like you’ve been coloured in with a brown felt tip pen.’
End of that friendship. This is why I’m lonely.


Comment by dusty earth mother.

I used to be a spray tan disciple and dont’cha know, one spray tan can be better than another. If she’s addicted, maybe you could gently suggest she try another facility that might have a better hue. Like, cafe ole rather than rustoleum.


Comment by Lessons in Life and Light.

My tanning salon allows you to do light, medium, or dark when you spray. Maybe she could adjust to less color?


Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

I only ever had a brother, but I thought the whole sister relationship is summed up by secretly hoping people think you’re the prettier one. Jan-Marcia syndrome. So now you win, right?? Let her be the orange sister.

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