As mentioned here, Pete and I went to Lagos in Portugal this weekend. It is a very popular holiday destination for English tourists, and considering that prior to this past week we have seen no sunshine at all
in the UK....
It is unsurprising that the majority of our fellow beach goers were very pale British Passport holders.
Being even more sun conscious after treatment for melanoma cancer for 3rd time this year, I find it fascinating to observe how others expose themselves to the sun.
I think that generally, beach goers fall into 5 categories.
1) The New Roasters.
These are the people whose low cost flight clearly only landed in the past 12 hours. They look awkward having their legs and shoulders exposed and are desperate to rectify the fact that they haven't seen sun in the past 9 or 10 months.
Always the most obvious on the beach, self consciously glowingly pale and trying to expose as much of themselves to as much sun as possible. For the majority, some effort is made at some sunscreen application at some point during the day, but mainly its about getting as many uv rays as soon as possible. Not entirely dissimilar to the thought of a chicken about to enter the oven and become Sunday lunch...
2) Yesterdays Roasters.
Pink bodies, now radiating their own burning heat, often scattered with hand or finger prints where half hearted sun screen applications had been made the day before. This poor parched and traumatised skin, today has usually had some sun screen lathered on it is then subjected to more of the rays that abused it so severely the day before. All in the hopes of acquiring a "tan" in the short time that they are there.
3) Acute Sun Fearers.
These are the people on day 2 or 3 of their holidays who fell securely under number 1 and or 2 of the above headings too. These realise that they can't handle anymore sun, and so either don't go down to the beach or if they do, keep their shirts on and try and avoid direct sunlight. They are usually quite dehydrated and low on energy and so are unlikely to be very vocal, nor up for a late night out.
4) The Wrinkle Fearers.
These are the elitest supertanned who still layer themselves with sunscreen, even though their tanned hides look like they surely can't absorb another ray of sunshine. They are clearly not doing this for fear of burning, but rather that they try and limit some of their wrinkled prune skin appearance in the future. The ladies in this group are often tanning topless on European beaches, and so many male eyes are coincedentally cast in their direction during these sun screen application rituals.
5) The Shade Dwellers.
Fortunately for me, there aren't too many of these type of beach goers and so other than a few families with young children, the shady territories aren't in massively high demand. We lather ourselves in sunscreen frequently but usually keep our clothes (and hats) on other than when swimming in the sea. And then we are likely to try and keep a hat on and wear a rash vest.
Aside from what I've mentioned above, I really don't begrudge anyone who is able to tan easily! Ok maybe I do a lot a little, as those with more olive skin are also less susceptible to contracting melanoma cancer.
And because I really do agree that brown fat is so much more attractive than white fat! And the there really is a "healthy buzz" of a feeling attained from being outdoors in the sunshine.
What I hate seeing though is people purposefully frying themselves in the sun. We have all had the occasional accidental over exposure to the sun, but to lie there knowing you are going to burn - is madness. Sun burn can cause Cancer and makes you look age faster too. I've never been an intentional Roaster, and I've had three melanomas....
And don't even get me started on sun bed users.
Self tan and spray tans are the way forward in giving you that healthy glow....
Have a Happy Healthy No Sun Burning Week!
PS There are obviously some people who don't fall specifically into one of these groups!