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Diary of a Perfect Tan

Emily Le Strange



I can feel your anticipation as you turn to this page. She’s back! Emilie Le Strange, back to delight and excite (in that order.) Some of you are old friends, some of you are new friends, and some of you aren’t friends at all, you just happened to flick to this page having given up on the crossword because it’s too hard (join the club). Don’t worry, with any luck you’ll be hooked soon. There is a lot of pressure on me, you have to understand. (“Oh, Emilie, your last column wasn’t funny! Why not? Why can’t you be funny all the time? Why don’t you just be naturally funny and stop trying to be funny? Why? Why?”)
Welcome to the first-years, especially those in Weir House! If you’re in D18 you must email me immediately because I’m pretty sure the sink hasn’t been unclogged since I was there three years ago. This is a very special year because my sister is at Weir House and my ex-boyfriend is her warden. Under normal circumstances I would be worried, but Isabelle is very mature and my ex-boyfriend has a thing for older girls.
I hope you are all intrigued by this week’s title. Some of you might be outraged. “Well! I hope that dreadful Emilie Le Strange is talking about perfect fake tan because tanning in the sun is so bad for you.” Yes, well, thanks I know that tanning is bad but I do it anyway! I am an unashamed sun whore. And nothing gives me a sense of accomplishment like a really good tan. A really even, beautiful, sun-kissed, eat-your-heart-out-Jennifer-Aniston tan. (I’m really sorry if you’re ginger and can’t tan. Bad luck. Mind you, I’ll probably die of skin cancer so good for you, ginger!)
A lot of time and effort goes into the perfect tan. A few false starts. The diary format is very Bridget Jones but not in a try-hard way – hello, anyone can write a diary! It all started back in study week (or should I say holiday week, ba-ha-ha!)…
October 28, 2003 – Oh my gosh I have a twenty-first this weekend. I wonder if I can get tanned by then? Immediately book myself in for ten sessions on a sunbed.
November 2, 2003 – Totally didn’t manage to get ten sessions in. Not even close. One sunbed session and it didn’t do a damn thing.
November 7, 2003 – Road tripped up to Rotorua today. Was wearing a sleeveless top in the car and have one burnt arm. In other news, avoided disaster when managed to find a deserted piece of forest just out of Taupo to go and wee in.
November 14, 2003 – At another twenty-first, many girls comment on Ben’s glowing tan. When did he get that? Clearly he didn’t wear a shirt for the entirety of study week. It is rather depressing when your boyfriend has a better tan than you do.
November 20, 2003 – I have a burnt ass. I didn’t think it was possible, but clearly when you sunbathe in a g-string these things can happen. It frickin’ hurts to sit down, not to mention embarrassment factor of HUGE.
November 21, 2003 – I haven’t been this burnt since my cousin Alice and I lathered our bellies with baby oil and lay out on the trampoline. (We were only about fourteen…that kind of stupidity is expected.)
November 23, 2003 – This whole burning thing is very inconvenient because today I have a twenty-first birthday luncheon, and everyone’s going to be wearing little black sleeveless dresses and pearls, and I have to strategically dress so that nobody notices the heinous strip of white across the top of my boobs.
December 4, 2003 – Right, time to venture back outside. Serious work needs to be done on legs, as back, shoulders, arms and ass are coming along nicely and legs resemble hairy parsnips.
December 12, 2003 – Bought quite expensive moisturiser with SPF 15 in it, thinking that while I’m quite happy for my body to wrinkle with age and sun exposure, I’m not so keen on a crinkly, leathery face when I’m thirty-five. Early detection, protection, selection (of SPF) equals eternal youth.
December 14, 2003 – Oh my god. I know I said eternal youth but this is ridiculous! The bloody expensive moisturiser with SPF 15 has given me three heinous zits on my chin! This is unbelievable.
December 20, 2003 – Ah, just in time for another twenty-first and for New Year’s Eve beach frolicking, the tan is perfected. From this point it’s about maintenance. Tans will fade – so get back out there, and leave your sunscreen on the kitchen table!
February 19, 2004 – I’m so pleased that “summer” ended in early January and I am once again pasty.
DISCLAIMER: Emilie Le Strange is by no means encouraging tanning. Tanning is totally dangerous and bad for you, and it gives you wrinkles and skin cancer and getting burnt hurts. However, it does look really good, hides cellulite, makes you look healthier (ironic isn’t it) and thinner and very Hollywood glam. Emilie recommends “Fantasy Tan” for gingers and the health-conscious, although you do run the risk of coming out orange like an oompa-loompa.