Oompa, Loompa, Doom-pa-dee-do

January 23, 2008
By Leigh Morgan, Carmel, IN

I was standing in the aisle of PetSmart, quickly scanning the millions of leashes for one that would make do for a baby golden retriever who would later grow to be a golden giant. Not to mention one that finds it tremendously humorous to capture and bury everyone’s shoes and make them late everywhere, and loves to stop and investigate EVERY particular item on the street that is unfamiliar to him. I would need a powerful leash. After a few minutes of my search, a very tan, very extravagant woman trotted down the aisle in her designer stilettos. She was scantily clad in a leopard print skirt and cleavage-bearing hot pink top, though she made up for it with the dozens of gems dripping from her neck, ears, and wrists. Prancing beside her, on jeweled leashes, were two miniature terriers. One was snow white, and the other was died bright, fuchsia pink.
“Wow! Can I take a picture of your dogs?” I asked the Pamela Anderson look alike.
“Of course!” Pam replied.
I tend to carry quite a large bag filled with the most unnecessary things. I was once at a restaurant with my family when my brother ordered a lemonade. It was a little too tart for his taste, and he couldn’t seem to find any sugar on our table or any of the surrounding ones.
“Oh, I’ve got some!” I shouted.
I proceeded to pull an individual packet of Splenda out of my suitcase of a purse. Needless to say, I had my camera in my purse. I pulled it out and quickly snapped a photo of the dogs. Pam and I went back to our own business and looked for leashes. Then, one of Pam’s look alike friends practically sprinted up to her and encased her in a Chanel No. 5 smelling hug.
“I haven’t seen you in forever!” the friend exclaimed. “Wow, did you just go to the Caribbean? You’re a bronzed beauty!” she laughed.
“They have a new package at Bronze Tanning!”
I took another glance at Pam’s face. It looked like an old potato that had been baked for approximately 500 hours. Surprisingly, the expected wrinkles were not present. I tuned back in to the ladies’ conversation. They were now talking about botox.
My opinion on fake tanning is quite the opposite from the aforementioned. I just don’t see everyone’s (from young teens, to moms, to even grandmothers) desire. Why in the world would you ever want to step into an ultraviolet-lit coffin, and be roasted to a crisp?
There are many different types of tanners:

• everyday tanners

• “only for special occasions” tanners

• DIY (do it yourself) lotion tanners

• spray tanners
So, the first group I will be reflecting on is the everyday tanners. These are the girls (or boys) that absolutely must fit tanning into their daily schedules. They are sometimes late to practice or activities because they need to be thoroughly toasted to feel good about themselves. You can identify these people by checking for a palm tree or perhaps maybe a heart on their lower abdomen. They are easily distinguished because they enjoy showing off their temporary tattoos by wearing shirts that barely cover their bosom. This group includes the people who think looking like my grandmother’s vintage leather handbag is attractive. Often, these people actually work at a tanning salon and stand at the front desk to give an example of what their service can do for you. They usually give their paycheck right back to the store by purchasing the various types of lotions for an “everlasting and beautiful tan.”
Sometimes, you only need to go tanning before special occasions, such as prom, a hot date, or a vacation. The “only before vacation tanners” believe that getting a “pre-tan” will prevent them from getting burned on the vacation. NOTE: This is NOT true! I have read countless articles proving that this will not keep you from getting burned when laying out almost completely naked with no sunscreen (okay, maybe there is an SPF 4 in the Banana Boat oil) underneath the hot southern sun. If you don’t get burned from tanning in the bed, you will surely burn under the real sun. Like the every day tanners, this group does not seem to comprehend the negative effects of tanning. It leads to malignant melanoma. That’s cancer. I was once talking to a girl. She was persistently nagging on my pale skin, and I gave her a little lecture about the aforementioned risk. You know what she said to me?
“I’d rather die tan than be pale!”
Astonishing. I’ve actually had a few encounters with people who don’t seem to like my whiteness. Another girl once asked me if I was wearing tights. Yes, the white tights like elderly woman wear.
“Are those actually your legs?!” she exclaimed.
“Well… um…. I’m not wearing tights.”
“Get a tan!”
I once again mentioned the major risk and she once again did not care. Have these people never looked at a high fashion magazine? Runway models are pale and yet they are paid to walk down the runway and look good!
The next group I’m going to talk about is my personal favorite, the DIY lotioners. This group really likes to get in touch with their creative side. They like to be in charge. It makes them feel good about themselves. They’re the boss of the lotion. These are the steps that they follow every time they apply their lotion:
Get the lotion. A big seller is Neutrogena Self-Tan.
Fully shave and exfoliate all parts of the body in which you desire to tan. You need a very smooth surface in order not to –don’t say it!— streak.
Think to yourself: “I am smarter than the lotion. I am smarter than the lotion.” This will mentally prepare you for the task in which you are about to perform.
Squeeze some lotion into your hands and follow the rubbing instructions on the bottle.
Note: Make sure you wash your hands afterwards!, or you will end up looking like you just strangled an oompa loompa.
Speaking of oompa loompas: I hate to admit this, but there actually is just one trivial plus to using tanning lotion- You have about a one in a trillion chance of getting a role in the next Willy Wonka movie.
The last and final group that I will be telling you about is a group that is even
worse than the lotioners. Yes, it’s possible. It’s the… Drumroll please… spray tanners!
This trend has just recently become popular. It gives teen girls the idea that looking like the Teresa Barbie (that’s Barbie’s best friend – the orange, I mean tan, one) is a good thing. These people could also have a chance at becoming a movie star. I am quite ashamed to say this, but I actually performed this deed once. I got a spray tan in eighth grade. It was a brainwashing experience. I had to strip down and wear a hairnet. I was then told to step into a miniscule shower, close my eyes tightly, and press the button under the faucet. I assumed the spray would start immediately, so I worked up my courage and rapidly hopped to press the button and then scurried to the back of the shower. However, nothing happened. I waited for a few more seconds until I decided that I must have not pressed it hard enough. So, once again, I manned up and scampered to the front of the shower. Right when I was about to press the button, a freezing brown spray shot from the nozzle and hit me square in the face. I leaped back, discouraged, and finished the tan.

So, as you can see, none of the above are particularly pleasurable experiences. But if you still refuse to be pale, and NEED to go tanning, then good luck to you, and I’ll keep an eye out for you if they make a series to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

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