What Was Your Wackiest Tan Line?


The summer season earlier than the third grade, I fashioned a moderately unhealthy obsession with a pair of platform Mary Janes from Kohl’s, or perhaps it was Mervyn’s? (RIP) They had been a comfortable, clean pleather and strapped on with what gave the impression to be a sturdy shiny buckle, however beneath was truly Velcro. Impeccably completed. What actually drew me in was the one and a half inches of chunky sole—in hindsight, they completely foreshadowed my adolescent obsession with The Smiths—however I digress! When again to highschool buying got here round, my mother lastly (!) agreed to purchase me a pair. I wore these sneakers, and ONLY these sneakers, for the following three months beneath the beaming southern California solar. Over time, I wore these infants straight into the bottom and constructed up a powerful tan three shades deeper than the remainder of my toes in a U-shaped semicircle that appeared as unnatural because it sounds.

I knew I used to be in for a deluge of feedback if my bare toes had been to ever be seen by one other set of eyes, however what’s a woman to do? Develop into the Tobias Funke of Mary Janes? Finally, the sneakers got here off. My older brother chuckled at my abominable tan. My mother tsk-ed when my toes had been into her line of sight. My swim trainer paused class as a result of he thought there was one thing caught on my toes (there wasn’t). And I’m positive my pals exclaimed, “How did you get that tan?!” after we ran round barefoot throughout recess. However after all, the tan light, and I grew up with a sustained love of low-cut sneakers and the knowledge to put on them moderately.

Many different tan traces lined my physique over time: a wild spaghetti strap tan that made me seem like I obtained right into a struggle with a clothesline, the define of a swimsuit that appeared so cool when it wasn’t printed onto my abdomen. However these days are lengthy behind me now that I’m a card-carrying member of the sunscreen club (as everybody must be). Nonetheless, for the way embarrassed I used to be about my Mary Jane tan line, I’d pay a fairly penny proper about now to really feel the best way operating round outdoor in these issues made me really feel. Would you do the identical? What’s the craziest tan line you’ve had, and what’s the reminiscence hooked up to it? Hold forth beneath.

—Utibe Mbagwu

Picture by way of ITG

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