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All About Tanning

What’s so great about tanning? If you’ve lived about a hundred years ago, not much was great about it. However, ever since people began to see the outdoors as a source of leisure activity rather than a day of toiling in the fields, the perception of an outgoing and fun personality grew with those people who were tanned. Around the 1920’s, having tanned skin suddenly went from the status of poor low class to rich upper class. How did this happen?

It’s hard to imagine that once upon a time people were shunned and scorned upon for having a suntan. That’s because those who were wealthy could afford to have other people do all the outdoor work. The paler the skin, the more time you spent indoors, or the more money you had to spend on clothing. Rich women never went outside without a parasol to block the sunlight. Bronze skin meant laborious outdoor tasks, reserved for the lower classes who had to work in the fields as servants, cut the lawns of aristocrats, and were generally too poor to afford fancy clothing.

Coco Chanel and Josephine Baker – Tanning Gets Sexy

tan through bikiniAll that changed in the 1920’s, when French fashion designer Coco Chanel cruised from Paris to Cannes aboard a yacht, and accidentally tanned her skin from staying outdoors. At the same time, popular singer Josephine Baker had women flocking to the beaches to emulate her dark skin.

Suddenly, tans were the symbol of wealth and leisure. Dark skin in the winter meant you were wealthy enough for a vacation in a warmer climate. In under ten years, pale skin was reserved for the lower class, who couldn’t afford the time off to tan! By then they toiled in sunless factories and offices instead of farms, which were becoming increasingly mechanized.

Today, sun tanning is as popular as ever. However, the dangers of too much sun are well known, with skin cancer on the rise. The best of both worlds is moderation. A few precautions will help minimize the dangers, and special tanning swimsuits can allow you to tan your entire body while still protecting you.

Outdoor activities are certainly much healthier than staying indoors, and with care you can feel vibrant and safe while enjoying the sun.

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