I was recently on vacation in the sun, and I have the tan lines to prove it. Despite the fact that sitting in the sun is now bad for us (talk about an ill-spent youth), I enjoy having a bit of a glow to my skin. It makes me look and feel healthy. However, I hate tan lines. I prefer to tan topless, or ideally, in the buff. Unfortunately, most places don’t permit nude or topless sunbathing. Could we be a little more of an uptight society? If men can take their shirts off in public, why can’t women?
Years ago, I read an article about a Gwen Jacob from Guelph, Ontario who exercised her rights to equality and walked home topless in 90 degree weather. She was arrested for an indecent act and fined seventy-five dollars. Around the same time, a female journalist in Vancouver, British Columbia spent an entire week going topless anywhere men were seen shirtless. She toted around excerpts from the Canadian Constitution Act to share with anyone who challenged her choice to exercise her equality. As she sat outside the Starbucks on Denman Street sipping her Chai Latte and reading a newspaper, the police would only suggest that she put her top on. They would not arrest her. Talk about provocative journalism. Now, 20 years later, the Canadian judicial system has officially granted women the right to go topless. In the United States, we can only bear our breasts in certain cities. Unfortunately, it’s still illegal in Los Angeles, but feel free to prance around the Upper East Side of Manhattan with your tits on proud display!
Back to my tan lines. I once met a stripper named Dani. No, that’s not the beginning of a limerick, but rather the beginning of my story on tan lines. How did I meet a stripper? Let’s just chalk it up to a number of unusual adventures I have had in the name of writing research. A stunning California blonde with unnaturally full breasts, Dani informed me that men love tan lines when I commented on hers. So convinced of this belief, she had invested $2500 hard-earned dollars in a tanning bed and spent an hour a day in a tiny thong and tiny triangle bikini top soaking up those manufactured UV rays. Every day she carefully placed a playboy bunny decal just above and to the left of her would-be pubic hairline to create a reverse-shadow of Hefner’s famous bunny. As her skin darkened, the bunny silhouette would remain light. It was her trademark tan line and apparently her clients loved it.
Dani was one of the few strippers I met who was intelligent, educated, and skilled enough to work in a number of other occupations. She had designed and sewn her own collection of stripper clothes, taught private and group stripping classes before Sheila Kelly’s S Factor workout glamorized this unglamorous vocation, and she seemed pretty normal—other than the fact that she took her clothes off for money. I have to wonder what happened to Dani, and whether she was right about the tan lines. I also wonder if she regrets the UV exposure and wishes she had invested in a spray tan booth instead.
I ask my readers, what are your thoughts on tan lines? Do you give them bunny ears up or bunny ears down? Or does it depend on how tiny the tan lines are? Is it that itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini that makes the lines sexy? I’m going back to Hawaii soon, so I need to know!