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Self-Tanning Torture

We all want to look healthy and golden in the summer…for some it’s easy, for others it’s an exercise in futility. I fall in the latter group.

Back in the 60s, Coppertone was the only game in town, and it didn’t do too much, as there was no SPF back then. Then they came out with “QT” = Quick Tan, a lotion that promised it would turn you bronzed overnight. It was almost too much to hope for…a tan without sitting in the sun and risking sunburn?? Be still my beating heart!
This sounded too good to be true. I was wise enough at that young age not to get sucked into the baby oil with iodine mixed in it, but as an almost albino, a little color seemed like an unattainable goal. So I begged my mom to buy it…please, just so I didn’t feel so Casper-ish.
Big mistake…big, big mistake. Long before Donald Trump became “Orange Man,” I turned into “Orange Modesty.” Not Cheeto orange, but a sickly, melted creamsicle orange. It was disgusting…and it didn’t scrub off. Also it didn’t help things that I basically slathered the whole bottle ALL OVER me. It stained my hairline, my eyebrows, my nails…argh!

You would think after that experience I would have learned my lesson, but noooooo…even to this day, I search for the perfect self-tanner. Some have come close, but each had a drawback: the smell, the sticky feeling, the transfer of color to sheets/clothing, the cost…some made me tan, until I showered and watched it go down the drain, others streaked or left me some weird flesh color, like the old flesh colored Crayola crayon.
I even went to a professional spray tan location to get a tan for a wedding. You get a paper thong and strapless bra thingy (if you want it,) put a shower cap and goggles on and let it rip. Then you stand there for 15 mins to dry before getting dressed. I went home and went about my business, until I had waited long enough before I could shower. I looked in the mirror…and my jaw dropped. I was GRAY, like I rolled in newsprint. I jumped in the shower and scrubbed until I thought my skin would come off. Thankfully, I wasn’t gray when I got out. Regretfully, I wasn’t tan either.

So after all this, I’ve decided it’s my lot in life to look like a sickly Victorian housewife…pale and anemic looking; living in SPF 30.
Oh.. but hang on! QVC has a new self-tanning product on right now!
Let me check this out..


  1. Psykosity

    Another great post, Mod! You make me laugh AND make me glad I am not a woman, though I am inspired to possibly write about my one and only time dying (?) my hair.
    We People Of Light need to stick together!

    • Modesty Fiona Blaise
      Modesty Fiona Blaise

      Thank you so much…your encouragement means a lot!
      Dyeing your hair is on the docket…get cracking and write that!!
      Your Fellow Person of Light xoxo

  2. Avatar

    Similar experience with the products… and now I’m perfectly fine being a ghostly apparition. Thanks for the laughs and keep those stories coming.

    • Modesty Fiona Blaise
      Modesty Fiona Blaise

      George, have I told you lately how much I love you?
      Alabaster, porcelain, china doll…heard them all, never in my direction, lol.
      I get “anemic” and “tubercular”…

      • Avatar
        George Pal

        “I get “anemic” and “tubercular”…”

        Well… I’ve nothing left but to commiserate with you on nature having treated you so cavalierly.

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