Friday, November 17, 2006

The Suntan

The modern suntan fad was launched when Coco Chanel accidentally obtained a dark tan while vacationing in the French Riviera in the 1920's. Up until that point, a suntan was a sign of lower class outdoor labour. As these labour patterns shifted in the early 20th century, a suntan became the symbol of wealth and leisure.

Coppertone was introduced in 1944 by Benjamin Green, as a lotion to darken tans. Hollywood stars (such as Sandra Dee) were used to advertise Coppertone products throughout the 1950's and into the 60's:

By the 1960's, tanning was an artform. An entire generation baked itself in the sun using sun reflectors and baby oil.

The 1970's saw advances in tanning products, such as this ad for Coppertone QT ("Quick Tan") lotion:

The suntan fad was at it's peak during the 1970's. No celebrity represented this look better than Farrah Fawcett. Ah, that tan. That smile. That hair!

Suntanning and the smell of suntan lotion have a deeply nostalgic hold on me. They conjure up happy memories of summers as a young child.

images: (1)
(3-4) source unknown

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