Explain: The Fake Tan

lindsay lohan fake tan empire.jpg

Lindsay Lohan's about to make zillions selling the spray version, and Rachel Bilson's just been signed by Jergen's to help promote their Natural Glow lotion via a campaign about sun safety, but we're still confused - why do some people persist in pursuing the fake tan?

From girls readying themselves for junior prom all the way up to Valentino, there is a huge population of fake tanners even though a fake tan is kind of like too-dark foundation cracking over acne - totally obvious, and therefore, totally besides the point.

Which begs the next question: What exactly is wrong with being pale? Because from the Karen Elsons to the Alek Weks of the world, the only skin tone that's every made us utter "ew" is the shallow orange of a Hollywood Tans devotee - and even that faint brown of fake tan dabblers doesn't make them look like they just spent a week in Florida so much as an hour in front of some light bulbs.

Some people cite the slimming effects of a tan - but is looking like a cuticle stick really worth looking like a spring breaker?

So if it never looks real, seldom looks good, and pretty much always looks cheap (not to mention that some states are looking to ban the cosmetic procedure altogether for minors for fear of an alleged link to melanoma), why do people do it?

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