Fake Tan at Oakton High

Ella Dennis, Staff Writer

For hundreds of years, girls across the globe have been trying to achieve the perfect glowy tan all year long. The idea first started in 1923 when Coco Chanel got a little too much sun on her Mediterranean trip and came back to the states with a beautiful golden hue. Tanning products started to appear on every store’s shelf immediately. Soon the tanning bed was invented in Europe and quickly became a highly professional industry. Now, there are multiple ways to accomplish the desired look: lotions, serums, spray tans, mouses, etc. But which is the best and most ethical? Let’s deep dive into Oakton and see what fake tan is occurring within our students and what they have to say about it. 

While people still use the tanning bed, it is now considered common knowledge that they can put you at risk for certain cancers. That said, the trend slowed down a little in the 80s and 90s but quickly came back in the early 2000s when spray tans were the ‘new thing.’ Everyone was paying whatever they had in their pockets to go into the shop and come out with a fresh new look. Sophia Lou, a freshman at Oakton, thinks at home self tan is just another door opened with the recurring trend. She wonders “what would they come up with next?” and “what else can be discovered?” 

As the fake tan game has evolved, how has the popularity? Like mentioned before, spray tan was reborn in the early 2000s and then again when at home self tan was come upon. Self tan is now the most popular use of fake tan. Sophia Arjona, a freshman at Oakton thinks “at home self tan is getting more and more popular after people started posting their own hacks and getting ready with me videos on social media.” The products are now having a voice behind them and they are getting passed around quicker than ever. Fake tan is also idolized in bodybuilding competitions and cheerleading events; this resulted in these athletes endorsing products. 

Now that we know the timeline and relevance of the phenomenon, who is using it at Oakton and what products are their favorites? Isabelle Whang, a diver for Oakton’s swim team estimated “about 85% of her friends have thought about fake tan, 100% of her friends wish they were tanner, and 50% have at least fake tanned once.” While Kiley Warzecha, a swimmer for Oakton’s swim team says “Tanologist is by far the best self tan, it’s cheap and natural.” All and all fake tan is growing in popularity and becoming its own industry.