One of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes is when Lucy modeled the wool suit right after she got a major self-induced sunburn. You remember, she burned herself to keep Ricky from killing her for buying the expensive Don Loper dress. But the pain she was experiencing from the sunburn, while very comical, was felt by everyone who watched. Prior to that, we always saw Lucy in a huge robe hanging from head to toe with a giant hat and sunglasses.
I can relate, can’t you? My childhood was spent with Coppertone lotion applied liberally. Summer skincare? I burned anyway. I just betcha this was before the term SPF was ever invented. Today the marvels of sunblock with high SPFs are celebrated by pale skin people like me.
When I was in high school, tanning was all the rage. All the cheerleaders had perfectly tanned legs that looked great with white socks and saddle oxfords. I wasn’t a cheerleader nor could I tan. But persistence was the order of the day. I decided to give it a shot and lie in the sun. I applied baby oil with iodine in it to make sure I tanned a bronzy golden brown.
Tan? No, no, no. It was an endurance of a broiling and frying combination. At the end of the day, I was red, sweaty hot, and still pale when it all peeled off. I finally resigned myself that my one attempt at tanning was all that was ever going to happen.
Self-tanners—what a great idea back then. They were genius except for one tiny detail: they turned you orange. And if you didn’t wash your hands, your palms were bright orange for days. I watched my friends try this and couldn’t imagine what would happen on my lily-white skin.
Several years ago in our Southern Lady magazine, we featured Delta Burke from Designing Women. One of the most profound things that she talked about was that her mother did not let her get in the sun at all. If she went outside, she had to wear a hat. Her mother was determined that Delta was going to have flawless skin. And when you see her photos, you can see that she has flawless skin.
I personally like the extra-large sun hats. When I am forced to be in the sun, I try to wear one even though I am spackled with sunblock. Find a great hat, and enjoy setting the fashion trend. Your skin will thank you!!