Did Kids In Your Town Go Tanning Before Prom?

We’ve been wading tits-deep into the tanning debate here at The Gloss, what with Amanda’s revelation that she doesn’t use sunblock. But apparently we’re not the only ones pondering skin health — a group of teens at a Massachusetts high school has announced that they will forgo tanning before prom.

Allison Bosse, who organized the effort, told ABC News that the practice of getting a dark glow leading up to your big night out is rampant where she lives.

“Our school is known for a lot of people tanning,” she said. “Kids start in March because they want to be tan in their dresses for prom.”

I mean, this is really cool and everything, and I totally support these kids’ efforts. But when the fuck did tanning become so much a part of the pre-prom ritual that not doing it necessitates a news story? Granted, my prom was about 14 years ago, but many of us here are 70s or 80s babies (because just to be clear, kids who are going to prom this year were born in 1994-ish) — did you guys tan before your prom? Also, any high school kids out there want to weigh in? Is this a thing?

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    • Jen

      At my high school prom it was a big thing for about 3/4 of the girls. Most of them had a spray tan the day before and came out looking orange, with considerably darker faces to the rest of their bodies. Not the best look in retrospect!

    • Aj

      I graduated back in 2006, and some went tanning back then for prom. But just a normal tan, not oompa loompa status by far. And not months before either. Just to get a glow to the skin. I only saw one girl who over did it at my school, but she did that year round so it wasn’t prom specific.

    • Alle C

      Even though I’m Australian, I graduated from high school in Naperville, which is a really affluent Chicago suburb. Tanning in general was a HUGE deal–one of the first questions girls would ask another girl they didn’t know was “Where do you tan?” The three or four girls in my class who worked at tanning salons were the envy of the entire student body. Seriously.

      Around dance time, this obsession with tanning ramped up to insane levels. Girls would have parents call them out of class so that they could go tanning during school hours. They’d obsess over duration, lotions, spray tans, shimmer, those weird things that made untanned shapes on your skin, etc. It was insane. I sat back and let them change colour in front of me. I think I was one of three pale people (for the boys tanned too) at my prom, at my graduation, and at life in general.

    • Samantha

      My prom was in 2007, and most people did spray-tanning. The week before prom, about 3/4 of the girls would come to school with dirty orange faces courtesy of Mango Bay.

    • Arnie

      I think about a quarter of the girls at my school did the tanning thing before our senior ball. Maybe a bit more, but I don’t really know, as I was always very out of the loop on such things.

      I do remember a couple of girls who showed up to school the day before having way overdone it. And the one girl who completely failed at the self-tan, and had visible tanned handprints on her arms.

    • Sam

      I graduated in 2006, everyone tanned. Looking back it was ridiculously stupid. Now I don’t even step outside without SPF on.

    • Fabel

      ’05– lots of girls tanned before prom, but I never did at all. I did put the fake stuff on though sometimes (but only to go from “glow in the dark” to “typical caucasion skin tone”)

    • Brianna

      I graduated in 2000. Many girls tanned, myself included, for prom and other dances, but it was more of a year round tanning thing not just for prom. I have since changed my wicked tanning ways.

    • anya

      I’m a senior in high school, about to graduate on friday and tanning is definetly huge!!! girls tan to unnaturally dark levels of tan and it ends up looking not that great because its too much. But yea, a large majority of the girls at my school go to tanning beds, ESPECIALLY before prom

    • KeLynn

      ’03 – I know of exactly one girl who tanned for our prom.

    • Ali

      I graduated high school in 2006 and everyone went pre-prom tanning (and truthfully, many of us were tanning year round). The first time I went tanning was for my 8th grade graduation. A lot of the girls were doing it, and some how I convinced my mom to let me try it. I’m sure some people will find that appalling and compare my mom to the tan mom, but my parents are well educated, health conscious people. I wish she and I knew all the facts about tanning back then. Needless to say, I do not go tanning anymore.

    • Katie

      I graduated in 2008 and went to a tanning bed before my senior prom, but I also grew up in South Florida so outdoor tanning was a year round activity. Most girls I went to highschool with went to tanning beds on a regular basis, and spent every weekend at the beach, the tanner the better. Getting as tan as possible before prom was definitely a priority for girls I knew, and myself to an extent, but we were also in South Florida where almost everyone is tan

    • Cassie

      My prom was in 2009. I used a gradual tanning lotion, because I am not a fool.

    • Marian

      2009. I can’t remember anyone tanning, we were all very focused on having great skin for it, so many of us went without make-up and junk food in the run up.

    • Aleon

      going to senior prom this year, lots of girls spray tan but very rarely do you hear of girls going to tanning beds. however, pre-tanning will probably occur frequently this year since one of the most popular dress colors seems to be white

    • M -

      I graduated in 2008 and quite a few people tanned – you could immediately tell, though, because they didn’t do a good job with the goggles you’re meant to wear and ended up being really brown but with white rings around their eyes. It was amusing.

    • Breezy

      I graduated in 2005 and I’d say half of the girls in my class tanned before homecoming and prom, and half of those tanners did it year round. Myself included. I have since wised up but I miss it sometimes. Mostly because it’s so much cheaper to tan than to spray or use at-home tanning lotion.