Tanning often reveals a stripper’s dark side

Strippers have gorgeous bronze skin in the dead of winter. I don’t. “You still look like cheesecake,” my friend told me on my last night in Jamaica while looking at my pale legs. The observation was unfortunately accurate. I am scared of sun damage. Young women glistened with coconut scented tanning oil in the harsh mid day sun. Several had achieved the temporary and elusive perfection of a golden-brown tan. I admired them from the shade of my black wide-brimmed hat. I always hide in the safety of the shade. If there is a possibility of sun exposure, I will be wearing SPF 80. Working as a stripper, I regularly see the advanced stages of sun damage. Irregular blotchy spots, deep wrinkles and a loss of elasticity are depressingly present in the unforgiving light of the dressing room. I saw an older woman whose ass looked like a drawn beige curtain. Many women end up looking like latex horror movie ghouls.

Tans are hot, though. They decrease your shelf life but they look great. I understand the desire to have one. In the shower at the end of my tropical trip, I noticed darker areas where my bikini, SPF 80 and my wide brimmed hat failed to protect me from the aging rays of the sun. The difference was mild. Perhaps the difference between white and off-white. I decided to roll with it and get a spray tan to enhance the change. It would be good for work, I figured.

Back in Vegas, in a space pod known as a spray tan booth, I stood completely naked waiting for the spray. It was a shock of cold mist that mostly went up my nose. You aren’t supposed to shower for several hours after being sprayed so I ended up going to sleep that night with spray tan still on me.

I woke up looking slightly orange. The dried spray collected in my creases and smelled funny. Before showering that day, I went to the gym. Showering after the gym isn’t really productive, you know?

Huffing and puffing on a treadmill during one of the busiest times of the day, I noticed my sweat was dripping down my arms in brown streaks. The stuff isn’t supposed to do that. It is supposed to react with your skin cells and not actually have dye in it … or so I read on the Internet. The stuff begins to pour down my face and the guy next to me is watching. Before I noticed that I was dripping in chocolate sauce I thought, “Wow, this guy is just shamelessly checking me out. Some people are raised by wolves.” I was drizzled in brown, but I wasn’t about to stop working out. There were only a few minutes left and I was going to stick it out. What a spectacle.

For about one day, the fake tan was believable but it faded before I made it to work later that week. The elusive perfection of a golden brown tan disappeared with out witness. “You were in Jamaica? Where is your tan?” a stripper asked me. Don’t worry about my tan. Where is your fear of sun damage?


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