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Post Reply Why are Americans obsessed with tanning?
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22 / M / Cali
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Posted 11/12/17 , edited 11/12/17
Why are Americans obsessed with tanning? Is peach or pale skin considered unattractive? I think Emma Watson looks great with her natural skin tone.
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28 / M / New Jersey
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Posted 11/12/17 , edited 11/12/17
Narcissism + Hollywood = Obsession
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20 / M / Palm Coast, Florida
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Posted 11/12/17
I hope the ones getting obsessive over tanning realize too much and it'll be dangerous. As for me, I like my light skin tone.
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Posted 11/12/17
It's weird because I find pale to be a lot more attractive.
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32 / M / TN
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Posted 11/12/17
Some Americans want to be tan. Maybe it's a regional thing, but I don't see a ton of people intentionally being tan. At least not nearly so many since it came out that tanning beds were causing an uptick in skin cancer.
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49 / M / Europe
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Posted 11/12/17
What I really do not understand is the "spray tan". It looks very unnatural and weird.
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22 / AH / Helipad
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Posted 11/12/17
I don't know either.
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40 / M / Charlotte, NC
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Posted 11/12/17
Why is it just Americans you think. Europeans do the exact same thing. What do you think the Riviera and San Tropez and all that is about.
Westerners are obsessed with tanning just the same as cultures where darker skin predominates, such as India, and Africa, are obsessed with being lighter toned.
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26 / F / PA, USA
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Posted 11/12/17 , edited 11/12/17
In America, yes, tan skin tends to be considered more attractive; however, it's not a universal "obsession," and harkens to decades-old promotions of tanning throughout the world. It is also becoming less and less popular, even though it's still pretty trendy among young women.
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Posted 11/12/17

KingKaio wrote:

Why is it just Americans you think. Europeans do the exact same thing. What do you think the Riviera and San Tropez and all that is about.
Westerners are obsessed with tanning just the same as cultures where darker skin predominates, such as India, and Africa, are obsessed with being lighter toned.


Exactly right. It's a cultural thing. The ability to look different to your natural skin tone denotes resource abundance in our current tech level, so is desirable. Four hundred years ago tanned skins denoted an outdoors job which made you a labourer or peasant and of low status. Therefore lighter skin was the signifier of resource (an indoor job or no requirement to work at all).

And you can see the opposite in modern hot countries. Companies like Nivea sell "Skin Whiteneing" products in countries where the environment gives rise to darker skin tones. You don't see those products in northern Europe or the USA because there's literally (almost) no market for it.

So it's not an "obsession" in the way it's normally taken. It's a cultural signifier of resource abundance and therefore high mating value. Things like spray on tan and UV tanning beds prove the theory as neither "look right" and are both considered to be not as valuable as a "proper tan" because they do not denote the abundance of spare time and money that a beach holiday would.
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Posted 11/12/17 , edited 11/12/17
are you sure it's just Americans?

Some people want to look like the members Hollywood cesspool.






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28 / M
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Posted 11/12/17
Everyone is obsessed with tanning except Indians who want to bleach their skin. People don't want to be pasty.
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F / BuBbLeS!
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Posted 11/12/17
I go outside to play/work so my tan comes naturally which I tend to lose during the winter, but yes hollywood and narcissism sure does play a horrible part in this sort of thing. not to mention that shallow image where people must have those implants, dyes, botox and the likes, what's wrong with being natural. not to mention those who are into reverse aging, where they dye their hair grey and want to be old. regardless, society is weird.
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Posted 11/12/17
i've heard in some places its because its a sign of social status or wealth where most of history it was the opposite in most places
Posted 11/12/17
They wanna be black.
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