In college, I used self-tanner the same way I used NoDoz: too much. I loved the stuff; I went through bottles. I got it sprayed on. I used foam, gel, and towelettes. I am the color of popcorn, and at the time it seemed like everyone not only approved of me constantly dyeing myself, but also actively wanted me to be dipping my body in DHA on a weekly basis and were doing the same. I was like an Easter egg left in its lil color bath a touch too long—but I was so happy! And then one day (I would say the exact same day I moved to Mumbai, where self-tanning just made all my friends laugh at me), it simply ceased to be a thing. I didn't miss the chemical-death smell, or the zebra streaks, or walking around the house trying unsuccessfully not to touch anything, so I just never went back.
But once in a while I'd see some fellow Casper gone all Jersey Shore and sigh, or fleetingly consider the fact that tan people look like 10 pounds thinner, and wouldn't that be nice? Honestly, I've been having weird tanning pangs ever since the weather warmed up. After you've had a taste of Jergens Natural Glow, it seems, the hunger never really goes away. But I'm not sure it's even feasible at this point. I'm a redhead these days; at least in college I was beach-y blonde, so the whole thing made aesthetic sense. Now I might just look like some kind of insane anthropomorphic carrot.
So I'm asking you, dearest internet friends: Is self-tanning still something I should be doing, or should I just stop being so sentimental and get on with the business of being pale? And what about you? Are you a fan, or not so much? Opinions, questions, and critiques, s'il vous plaît!
—Your Friendly Neighborhood Lacey
Photo of Marisa Berenson shot by Gianni Penati in January 1968.