What historical events gave rise to the joy of being able to have bronzed tanned skin throughout the year along with the quicker results achieved today with spray tanning? We should all thank Coco Chanel for when she arrived on port from a vacation cruise; she had no idea that upon landing, photographers and fans would cause such a roar and believe she was up to some new fashion trend. Prior to this time and close to the late nineteenth century, the look for women emphasized wearing elaborate clothing, often delicate and also called for them to have white alabaster skin. This was most often associated with the upper classes that wished to differentiate themselves from laborers or outdoor gardeners. Women often attended special galas and in order to make some contrast with their delicate color dresses, would have to pinch their cheeks or lips in order to not look so pale while greeting friends or making an entrance. That all changed, for upon arriving in America from Europe most people were developing the country and growing enterprises; a perfect place for the fashion designer that to this day her name brand has unquestionable equity. In the West in particular people were busy building homesteads that often brought plenty of time outdoors, required more practical clothing and consequently gave more leisure time under bright blue skies.
The look for tan skin gave rise to the popularity of deep cut back dresses, accentuating accessories, and eventually one of a kind swimwear when women were finally allowed to sun bathe in public. Tanning lotions and spray on tans were not available at the time, so long hours would be spent outside and most often not accessible to everyone. “…fashions became adornments for bronzed skin, and by 1946, women could tan their skin publicly in as little as a bikini.” (Sara Pendergast, 2000). The rest is bikini and fashion history or one could say under the same breath a more glamorous full figure style. Today, tanning is just as much fun as it was yesterday and more so with the quick process of spray on tanning. Colors and hues are more natural and transformed since the 1990’s. Tanning solutions use natural carbohydrates that react with the skin’s own natural proteins to create the soft bronzed golden tan look. Below is an after picture by a local client that received a spray tan. Stay tuned for our next article on holistic body bronzing that does not use spray aerosol for a more subtle and gentle approach to bronzing your skin prior to that next awesome event on your planner.
Article by Theresa Nielsen, Licensed Esthetician.
Harris, Marvin. “The Rites of Summer: History of the Sun Tan.” Natural History. August 1973, 20-2.
Madsen, Axel. Coco Chanel: A Biography. London: Bloomsbury, 1990. Comprehensive account of Chanel’s life.
Mauriès, Patrick. Jewellery by CHANEL. London: Thames and Hudson, Inc., 1993.
Tanning. Sara Pendergast. St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 4. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. p603-605. Word Count: 2111.