Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 17 January, 2021

The 8 stages of attempting to tan your back

It is NOT a job intended to be done solo.

IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT. You’re going ‘out out’ tomorrow night. You’ve had a long week. You are absolutely ready to rally a load of Jaegerbombs and sing ’17′ by MK very loudly in the back of a taxi.

First things first though – you’ve got to put on your tan.

Pick your poison – Cocoa Brown, Bellamianta, bBold, and prepare to shlap it on.

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You’ve emerged from the shower – descaled and preened like a Christmas turkey awaiting a mahogany basting. You have your old trackies/pyjamas/oversized-work-clothes-that-you’ve probably-worn-to-the-gym-or-perhaps-while-painting-in-primary-school strewn on to the bed. Part-time catfishing is hard work, man.

1. So first, you do the rest of your body.

Coating yourself, you look in the mirror and admire the changes you see happening before your very eyes. This is like FaceTune! But in real life! You scoff thinking about your friends’ Slimming World testimonials. WHY would I put myself through eating portion after portion of baked beans when I can stand here, coating myself and lose a stone instantly?

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2. Upon completing your upper body, you realise that you cannot reach your back on your own, and you will have to hold off momentarily.

Onwards to your legs! You’ve yet to decide what you’re wearing, so you’re tanning everywhere, just in case. You will inevitably end up wearing tights, because it is still f*cking January Mary, get a grip.

3. Ok! You’re all done. Do a twirl in front of the full-length mirror you got from Ikea.


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“Aren’t you only gorgeous! Lovely colour on you,” you expect them to cry upon laying eyes on your.

“You’re done Ronsealing yourself so, is it? The sheets’ll be destroyed again,” will be the only response from your mother.

4. Enough faffing, you have to do your back now before it goes part 11:30 pm to allow your tan OPTIMUM time to develop.

You call down the stairs in search of a willing family member, or at the vert least someone who is willing to sacrifice the colouring of their hand for a few days.

5. No answer. They can’t hear you, obviously.

You make a makeshift dress out of your dressing gown, tied at your boobs to cover your decency but leave just enough space so that your back can be tanned and head downstairs. It’s less Rita Ora, and more … Actually, it’s nothing else, we’ll be honest. It’s a dressing gown tied around your body.

6. Ok, they’re all out or gone to bed. Now what? … You’re going to have to go it alone.

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Yes, you know the coat hanger trick – it’s ineffective. Yes, you know their things that you can actually buy that will assist you in tanning your back – you don’t have one of those either. It wasn’t one of the 300 useless things you picked up in Penneys a couple of hours previous, unfortunately.

What now?

7. Right, sure didn’t you do a few weeks of gymnastics when you were 11? No bother to you! Start contorting Linda!

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With some careful manoeuvring, you manage to tan (albeit not very well) the tops of your shoulders and most of the small of your back.

There’s an area that alludes you though – the Bermuda triangle of back-tanning, a place that can only found by those with the longest of limbs and most flexible of joints.

You try, you fail and you flail as you attempt to reach its borders. Your shoulders ache and back pinch and ache.


8. You collapse onto the hardwood floor which you are now the colour of – except for your back, that is.

It’s time for damage control now. You look to your wardrobe. You sigh.

“Jeans and a nice top?”

Jeans a nice top it is.

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