Tanning Salon Chain Celebrates Thanksgiving With Racist Campaign For ‘Color’

baked and tan turkey

Via Flickr.

As if the indoor tanning industry wasn’t already skeezy and terrible enough, a chain of salons has opted to celebrate this year’s Thanksgiving holiday with a campaign of culturally offensive ads. Goodie! Skin cancer and appropriation for everybody!

Club Sun Color Studios, located in Alabama and Florida, feels that the best method to attract new customers is by offending them. For Th4nksGiv1ng Br3aaaak 2013!!!1!, they would like you to obtain a nice shade of ‘color’ — you know, like the Native Americans brought to the first ever American rave:

tanning salon racist ad campaign

Oh for goodness’ sake…

This sort of feels like the Drunk History version of Thanksgiving, wherein the American Indian woman and the blonde pilgrim . Needless to say, people are pissed, given that whole “genocide” thing and “sexual exploitation” thing and all that stuff people inexplicably forget about every time a white Victoria’s Secret model struts out wearing a bikini and headdress.

While the message this ad is projecting is disgusting, as well as its blatant ignorance toward history, racism and cultural reappropriation, I am admittedly also horrified by its awful photo editing, indecision for font choice and questionable (at best) quotation mark placement. Why is the corn in quotes? Like, really, is it not actually corn? Is it a secret tanning salon formula that will turn you into a Real Housewife from…well, any of the Real Housewife shows? In short, Club Sun Color Studios needs to fire whomever comes up with ideas, everyone who approves ideas, and everyone who executes ideas. Fire everyone. It’s for the best.

On the bright side, they may have had some sense knocked into them, as their website is no longer showing the unbelievably poorly thought out ad, but an apology (or at least an admission) would be solid. And while you’re at it, Club Sun, apologize to everyone for being but a small indirect reason the Jersey Shore exists. I mean, whether or not you’re not going to defend your actions, you should still own up to them and explain WTF you were thinking — which, one can only assume, was not too much here. They’ve also deleted their Facebook, so perhaps this means the Big Tan Wolf has gone wee wee wee all the way into the arms of the world’s best mom.

As a side note, am I the only one who’s terrified that tanning could potentially lead to this happening?

Now, go enjoy your ‘corn!’

[h/t HuffPo Style]

Share This Post:
    • CMJ
    • Muggle

      I’ve been tanning before. It’s not too bad if you start off small– only in there for about 5-6 minutes. My extremely fair skin never burned, and I never opened my eyes to find my breasts spontaneously aflame.

      But I love how the “color” is portrayed as a darker-skinned Caucasian woman in an utterly inaccurate costume. Fucking really? I hate the message this sends. “It’s okay to not be a ghostly pale white chick with blue eyes and blonde hair, as long as you’re not ACTUALLY a person of color.” What. The. Fuck.

      Growing up half-ginger in the South, I heard that message fucking daily as my much-tanner peers would constantly hold their “healthy” arms up next to my “ginger” one, and not two minutes later spout racist bullshit with liberal use of the N-word.

    • Hayley Hoover

      Oh dear god.

      Also, “the first American rave.” Love it.

    • Roxanne Marie Zoltan

      Being extremely claustrophobic and also pale, tanning already terrifies me, but this is so much worse than all my fears. The quotes make ‘corn’ sound like a sexual metaphor, which is also a bit scary.

    • Nancy

      I think the quotation marks might be around corn because it wasn’t corn back then, it was maize? Not sure

      • BigBlue

        You’re giving them way too much credit. The idiot minds behind this couldn’t have known that.

      • Nancy

        lol You are probably right!

    • Rachel Sea

      They found a way to make the day even more racist. It’s a Thanksgiving miracle!

      • Samantha_Escobar

        You bring up an excellent point…perhaps they were merely trying to parody the inherent racism of the holiday by being racist! Or, at least, that’s what their PR people (if they had any) might say. Sigh.

      • Chuck

        “Inherent racism of the holiday”? It commemorates the Pilgrims’ gratitude to God for getting them across the ocean and to the New World alive. Not that they weren’t something besides white English folk.

    • Evelyn

      I agree with you whole heartedly. So many problems with this advert it’s hard to decide what to be disgusted about. Racism, body images and ideas of beauty imposed by the media, air brushing awful aspects of history as some fun sexy thing. Yuck.

      The only thing I don’t agree with you is the corn issue. Corn is a general term for the main grain grown in any location and in America that is maize so you call maize corn. To me corn could be any grain, like wheat or barley, although we do refer to sweet corn as sweet corn and never anything else. So as corn is a word for any grain but the author is using it to refer to maize I would be fine with speech marks around it.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke


    • Viv

      How is this racist?!?!?! Are you people nuts!!! You could turn anything into racism, you obviously have too much time on your hands if you look at this ad and pick it apart!!!!