Holiday ball calls for more than just a new dress

Anna Slayton, staff writer

School dances take more preparation than one would think. In fact, some girls spend up to $100 in order to get the perfect glow to their skin.

To combat the pasty skin that comes with Minnesota winters, many girls feel the need to go lay under faux UV rays to look up to par for Holiday Ball. “If I didn’t go [tanning] I would look like a ghost, and no one wants that,” said senior Claire French.

The amount of time each girl spends in the tanning bed varies, depending on their skin tone, package, and preference. “Before dances I usually tan two to three times a week for three weeks,” said senior Ellen Carisch.

Depending on skin type and the effects different types of tanning have on each person, girls’ choices differ between UV tanning and spray tanning. “I prefer spray tanning because it’s way better for you and not harmful for your skin…and I usually burn when I go tanning in the bed because I’m so fair skinned,” said junior Ashley Ward.

While spray tanning––which is when a chemical is sprayed on the body––the appearance similar to traditional suntanning is given to the skin. Some girls, however, chose to steer clear of this method due to the possible outcomes. “With my luck I’d turn orange [with spray tanning], and I’m sure the people in my grade would call me nicknames referring to the color of my skin,” said sophomore Elise Overman.

Tanning poses many threats; one of the most dangerous being skin cancer. However, these threats don’t phase some of the girls who visit the salons. “I know [the dangers because] I get lectures about how terrible it is for my skin, but I don’t care enough to prevent me from going three times before Holiday Ball. I honestly don’t think it can do much harm in such a small proportion,” said Overman.

Some girls, on the other hand, limit their tanning due to these risks. “I do care [about the dangers] and that’s why I keep the use limited,” said French.

Despite these dangers and expenses, many girls take on tanning in order to not stand out due to the light pigment of their skin.