Tanning in the Sun

It never ceases to amaze how we, as individuals, perceive beauty. During our ride to Pattaya’s beach, there was constant chatter about sitting under the radiant sun rays to get a nice tan. Once we arrived at the beach, I was in awe. As my eyes squinted across the sandy beach, I could not help but notice how many foreigners were at the beach tanning away. Shockingly, some foreigners tanned until they turned a rusty baked orange color! Honestly, it was a bit scary how over baked their tan was.

But as I was standing there, I started thinking about the idea of beauty for both foreigners and the Thai people. I could not help but wonder, what makes tanning so appealing to me? Ms. Nok mentioned that Thai people prefer to have lighter or “whiter” skin because it shows that they do not work in the farmlands. This to me was particularly interesting because of how contrasting our views of what skin beauty was. Growing up as an Hmong American woman, I never quite understood why the idea of tanning was appealing in the states. I always resisted tanning because my skin color was beautiful to me (although, for some odd reasons I wanted to get tan that Sunday). Going back to the states, I will definitely bring back this idea of contrasting cultures along with thoughts to ponder why Americans are inclined to tan.

Leave a Reply