Tanning habits – does the skin colour show how rich/poor you are?
There is this kind of thing probably for all the people around the world that we just always want what we do not have. Tanning habits are there too.
Those with darker skin want it whiter and vice versa.
I personally think I look better when I am tan, so each time I can get some tan I try to (but I cannot stand sunbathing unless I am in the water every 10 minutes). When my face is tan, I hardly ever use any make-up, not even for the eyes which is the only thing I use for my face usually. I even feel better when suntan.
And most of the Europeans feel the same way I guess. We always go on holidays and without a tan we just cannot come back home. In Europe having a nice tan means we are not poor as we have time and money to go on holidays somewhere hot and sunbathe.
And then I went to Mexico in March 2011. There I realized for the first time that our European preconceived notion of ”tan means good” is exactly the opposite in some countries. Like I said, for the first time I saw it in Mexico where all the white people were richer and those very tan belonged to a lower class. Even in all the telenovelas you see the hacienda owners being those of light skin and those working for them are of darker skin.
Then, I remember before I went to Thailand for the first time in the end of September 2011, I saw a post Johnny wrote about buying sunscreen in Asia and he said you could buy only sunscreen lotions with whitening effect in Thailand. I had no idea about it and I was happy I read it because I could buy the sunscreen lotion in Slovakia before visiting Thailand.
And when I came to Thailand, I got to see it was true. Shops were full of whitening body lotions and sunscreens. If you use sunscreen with betacarotene (like I used to before I started using 100% raw organic vegetable oils only), forget about getting one in Thailand. Mission impossible.
I saw the same thing in the Philippines afterwards. Even my friends were using whitening cosmetics and almost anything you could imagine was available also with whitening effect in the Philippines. Was I the only one trying to get tan in there?
People who do not travel are not really aware of this different habit and notion of what being tan means in different countries. I remembered it now again as we just had a conversation with my mom about it during our holidays in Egypt.
In our hotel there were 2 groups of people: Europeans and Arabs. The Europeans were at the pool and the beach since after breakfast and were leaving in the afternoon, I mean staying at the sun and sunbathing during the worst midday heat just to return from the vacations with a cool tan. And then the Arabs were lost during the day and all appeared in the water after 4pm when the sun was not strong any more. And I never saw an Arab person on a sunbed trying to get more tan. Yes, these were the rich light-skinned Arabs on holidays, while those of darker skin were working in the hotel.
You see, different countries, different habits, even tanning habits. And yes, you are right! I came back from holidays in Egypt with a better tan than I came there with.