|Like this only naked. CREDIT.|
It’s common for competitions to bring in a professional spray tanner to give tans to competitors. For the sake of this post, “give” actually means it cost me $100. That tanning bitch was raking in money all weekend long, one faux tan at a time.
Anyway, I made my appointment a few weeks in advance that consisted of two separate sprays the day of the show. Yes, I got two sprays two hours apart. They’re not joking around with this tanning shit. In fact, they’re so serious that they send you all sorts of rules to properly prepare your skin for ultimate tan reception. So I exfoliated, cut out body washes, avoided moisturizers with oils and otherwise prepared my canvas for ultimate darkness. If I’m gonna pay $100 for something I’m going to take that shit seriously.
I showed up for my first tan and was freezing my naked ass off before I knew it. While this was awkward in itself, the whole thing was made as uncomfortable as possible by being done in a strange little hut in the open ballroom of a Hilton – surrounded by several more little huts. All of which have weird plastic windows right at face height. So there you are naked and waiting while you look out this weird little window and try not to make eye contact with the muscle-bound dude across for you. And all of this is before you’re given the pleasure of being blasted with icy tanning solution from what is essentially a paint gun.
First tan down, and I was immediately warned to avoid water at all costs. This would seem easy enough, but of course it’s raining and has been for two days. The whole world was against my tan from the very beginning. Then I was told I should pee in a cup. Like a high school physical. Or a drug test. I decided to ignore this rule as soon as I hear it.
Within seconds of being outside, my legs were flecked with water leaving glaringly white splotches on my newly tanned skin. Mother Nature had won round one. She won round two when I rebelled and peed without a cup. I popped a squat so as not to touch the toilet and – even though I was careful – the result was an obvious drip down my right thigh. I bought the stupid cups on my way to tan number two.
After a second round of tan two hours later, my mistakes were fixed and my skin was a color that can only be described as 100% unnatural. Lets just say that I was tan enough to frighten people at WalMart and nothing surprises people at WalMart.
And while being a spectacle can be mildly uncomfortable, the inability to touch anything was definitely the worst part. Like King Midas anything a tanned fitness competitor touches turns to gold. Only this gold is actually orange and not worth lots of money. After leaving smudges on everything from toilets to walls to car doors I eventually just stopped touching things and let Dreamy take over. I stained my clothes, I stained my –purposely-shitty – sheets, I even stained the light blue polish on my toes. Nothing was safe.
And then the next morning, they tanned me again. I went from insanely dark to full on black. It was at this point that I’m pretty sure I forgot what my actual skin tone was. I was just layers upon layers of tan. With one final spray before the night show, I had received four spray tans in just over 24 hours. And for the record it felt totally disgusting.
When it was all over and I was finally able to shower the tan came streaming off of me, darkening the water instantly. Never before has a shower felt so good. Or resulted in an immediate need to clean the bathtub. Magically I was white again and all that tan was down the drain.