WE HAVE TO SPEAK UP.
We don’t want to admit it, but it’s (mostly) men who either are traditional tanning bed salon owners who got a clue and added sunless, sales reps who don’t know how to spray tan or spray tanned once or twice but love to hear their own voice, advertisers who have no idea what they are marketing, and female and male reps who are unnecessarily aggressive about the brand they rep with the biggest voices and influence on the outward aesthetic of our industry.
This is an actual comment from one of the top sunbed faces on a spray tanning group post regarding how to advertise to gain clientele:
“Find a way to make stay at home mom’s feel the need for your service. Pamper yourself, feel pretty, you deserve a break too, tanned bodies look 10 lbs lighter. I’m not a mother or a girl so my ideas may differ than a mother would. I’m sure you can figure something out.”
This is misogynist, sexist garbage.
So who is the actual industry?
Mostly female, independent sunless only technicians who spray a wide range of clientele of all ages, sizes, and genders who have good taste.
People who know what advertising women want to see (which is not to be told they need to look thinner, less tired, or whatever other backhanded shit we have accepted but hated for so long.)
Salons abound that are really cool, light filled, safe spaces for women and men to get a judgment free tan run by women and men who are creative and care about their work and never sexualize their clientele. Because that’s gross.
Efficient mobile technicians who show up organized and on point.
Most of our businesses won’t have, or never had, tanning beds. We can’t really believe tanning beds are still a thing.
Why are we being led by the traditional sunbed industry?
Sunless is growing and will be standard very soon. The traditional tanning bed industry is dying and we have to let it go. They are so worked up that they are posting hilarious articles where they say we shouldn’t be anti-tanning bed because once the tanning beds are gone, they are going to come after us and the DHA “mist” issues.
Want a link to this kind of mind bending logic? Too bad. I won’t encourage the hits. But it’s easy to find. And written by the editor of the main magazine fro the industry.
So there’s that.
We have to change the narrative.
We are constantly battling against the stereotypical idea of a spray tan and who gets a spray tan and how they actually look versus how they are advertised to seem. Then we see endless super dark tan lines in ads with barely dressed models in bikinis. Or You Tube videos with porn music in the background. And more bikini and crotch shots.
And we scream.
Then we have to deal with reps who don’t get why you won’t carry lotion with the word “naughty” on the label.
And we scream.
Why is the industry totally oblivious to packaging and labeling? Why does so much of it look dated or like in belongs in a 90’s porn shop?
(I scream a lot)
Let’s collectively admit that there’s an obvious disconnect and need for new representation.
The ones who care, like me, are in the fucking weeds most of the time, surviving on the occasional amazing thread we read on one of the 30 FB groups we’re in. Hoping to do it differently. Sometimes getting really frustrated.
So let’s do this.
I think ASTP is on to something and I hope they slay.
There’s room for all of us, make no mistake. But we need new leaders and standards. And we have to raise them ourselves.
I’m going to write here and do my small part.Please send me topics you want discussed, questions, comments, etc. Want to contribute? Please do.