Monday, August 3, 2015

Tan Lines: Seriously, Who Gives a Poop*?

*Well, hopefully we all give a literal poop every once in a while. I've suffered pregnancy-induced constipation and would never wish it upon anyone. I am using the word "poop" figuratively here. In my half-hearted efforts to keep my personal blog PG, I will be using the word “poop” in this post in place of the four letter word that I’d really like to use. The one that rhymes with suck. As in, it sucks trying not to use the word f*** when I’m really irritated.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut...on to the post.

In Defense of Tan Lines:

I hear it every time I drop my towel to reveal my bathing-suit-clad body at the pool in front of friends and family. Every. Damn. Time:


“Nice tan lines.”

Cue my eyes rolling so far back into my head that I can see my own occipital lobe, while I spew back a very sarcastic, “Yup! Thanks! They are, aren’t they?”

Jealous much?

I don't know why people act like I’m exposing some deep, dark (pun intended), shameful secret when I bare my tan lines to the world. It's as though I’m whipping my towel off to reveal a life-sized Justin Timberlake tattoo, the Ramen-noodle-esque hair of his glory days blazing across my chest. (Not that I judge anyone who might have one. You do you. And, hey, I’m all for bringing SexyBack.)

I guess I just don’t understand what the big deal is. I know I’m not the only woman out there with tan lines. And surely I can’t be the only one who doesn’t give a poopity poop.

(Before anyone freaks out, YES, I do wear sunscreen. But sunscreen doesn’t block out all the sun. It, you know, screens it.)

Why are tan lines so socially taboo? I mean, some people are so adamantly opposed to them that they explicitly forbid their presence in any situation where photography will be involved. Seriously. Like, “Hey, don’t forget that the (family portrait, formal dance, wedding, creepy-stalker-guy encounter, etc.) is in a month, so if you’re gonna be outside before then, you need to wear something strapless.”

Are you poopin' kidding me? Sure, let me just go out and buy a new bathing suit so as not to inadvertently blind the photographer with the tiny white line of skin curving around my shoulder.


Granted, they aren't always "tiny," but I honestly still don't understand what all the hoopla is about. This is the twenty-first century. Aren’t we supposed to tolerate, like, all skin colors? So what if they happen to collectively pigment one single human being?

Sometimes, I can't help wondering if my tan lines are the real reason I'm rarely asked to be a bridesmaid (since it's obviously not my non-abrasive, charming personality that's sabotaging me):

Strappy sandals? Okaybut what will we do about her ghost feet?

Low-cut back? Yeah, if we want people thinking they have to stop behind that big white X that looks like a railroad crossing sign spanning her shoulder blades.

Strapless or one shoulder dress? Hey, why are you wearing a white sports bra under your—oh, never mind. I see.

Not to mention the lines on the side of my head and rings around my eyes from wearing sunglasses because I don’t want my eyeballs to melt in their sockets. And spray tans and professional makeup artists can only do so much to fix the "problem."

But, honestly, what do people expect?

It’s summer. And I’ve been living in the Deep South for the last couple years. Tan lines are kiiiiiiiiiiind of inevitable.

So, to all you Judgy McJudgers who be hatin’ on them: Yes (duh), I have tan lines. Tan lines that don’t bother me, so they certainly shouldn’t bother you. Tan lines that I will gladly display for all the world to see, without the slightest hint of shame. Tan lines that I embrace.

Tan lines that are there for a reason, none of which include a secret agenda to ruin photo aesthetics or taint the beauty of humankind with my unevenly-bronzed monstrosity of a body.

No, for legit reasons. Reasonable reasons. Reasons that include the following:

1. I take my kids to the playground when it’s sunny. I don't know about you, but I’ve yet to find a playground that has the same lax rules as those fancy-ass (ha!) nudist beaches in Fronce. (You have to pronounce it that way to get the full snooty effect: Fronce.)

2. I’m a runner, and I push my kids in the jogging stroller a lot. I don’t make a habit of doing this naked:

It's your basic principle of cause-and-effect, folks. This...

…inevitably leads to this…

3. I’m not going to pay money to go lie in a bed that will evenly expose every inch of my skin to cancer.

4. I’d rather play with my kids in the pool than lay on a towel and flip over like a freaking omelet every time an egg timer pings (see what I did there?)

5. The ones around my eyes? I paid for Lasik a while back, and I am super vigilant about wearing sunglasses now because I care about my eyeballs. Also, I’d rather look like a raccoon than squint myself to a migraine. I’ve got kids for that.

6. The ones on my ankles? Well, it's easier to chase my kids around in tennis shoes than in flip flops.

7. That one on my wrist? It’s from my watch. I have toddlers, and if their napping/eating schedule gets thrown off, they devolve into miniature Tasmanian Devils. 

I could go on, but we'll end on 7, since it's the most magical number in the wizarding world, and I love me some Harry Potter.

Bottom (tan)line: I DON’T GIVE A POOP.

So, seriously, can we lay off the tan line jokes? I’ve kind of grown to love them. And when they fade in the winter, I might even miss them.

Because tan lines are sexy, yo. (And they’re a less permanent way of bringing SexyBack than the aforementioned Justin Timberlake tattoo.)


This message is brought to you by natural UV exposure and the author's slightly embarrassing obsession with Justin Timberlake's hit song, "SexyBack."


  1. Oh man, I have all the same tan lines. I loved this!

  2. Jaysus, do people really have so little to do that they need to comment on/criticize your tan lines? Whatever, you look great, healthy, whatever. Screw those dolts. Rock on, mama