Students gear up for spring by getting golden

February 21, 2008

by Katie Fontenot

Warm breeze. Loud music. The smell of coconut oil in the air.

Close your eyes for a second, and you would almost think you were on the beaches of a tropic isle instead of in one of Ruston’s several tanning salons.

Kasey Key, an employee of Sunsations and a senior marketing major, said March and April are usually the busiest time of year for Sunsations Tanning Salon, located at 715 W. California Ave.

“With bathing suits and vacations, people are preparing for being out in the sun,” Key said.

Vacations and bikinis are worthy reasons but not the only reasons for bronzed bodies, Key said.

“It helps my complexion,” Key said. “My face doesn’t break out as much, and I feel more confident.”

Audrey Rice, a freshman pre-nursing major, said tanning also boosts her self-esteem.

“In the summer I tan easily, but in the
winter I get pasty white. It makes me feel better about myself,” Rice said.

Key said along with an increased aesthetic appeal, tanning can offer an escape for many a stressed student.

“It’s very relaxing. It’s my time in the day when I can be by myself and not think about anything,” Key said.

Female students are not the only ones benefiting from the therapy of a tanning bed.

Caleb Jones, a freshman marketing major, said he uses his time to think.

“I usually think about what I have to do that day and kind of plan out my day,” Jones said. “But in the afternoon it really helps relieve stress.”

Jones is part of a growing trend of males who tan, Key said.

“We get just as many guys tanning as we do girls. They’re just like girls and want to feel good about themselves,” Key said.

Key also said manual labor outdoors creates unattractive tan lines, and many male customers are seeking to blend in the shades.

Cody Breen, a senior marketing major, said, “A lot of guys think it’s a girl thing to do, but I know quite a bit of guys who do it more than me.”

Breen said all men want to feel attractive, they just go about it different ways.

“Guys who work out try to look good, so tanning’s no different,” Breen said.

Jones said, along with a healthy glow and self-confidence, tanning can also have other benefits.

“It boosts my confidence and I like the way it looks, but my favorite part of tanning is the girls who work at the tanning place,” Jones said.

No matter what your motivation, summer is coming, so if you are a fan of the tan, slap on some lotion, put on the goggles and get ready to get golden.