Thursday, May 03, 2012

Tanorexic? Really?

Growing up in Colorado, I had a distant cousin who married a fair-skinned white woman, who had a habit of baking herself to a mile-high crisp every summer. The black side of his family always wondered what the hell was wrong with this, otherwise likable, woman - she was still going to be white, regardless of her imitation of rotisserie'd chicken. All that super-tanned skin under her blonde hair seemed unhealthy and a bit creepy, not unlike her famous departed antonym, the pigment-less 'gloved-one'. The picture in the post reminded me of my relative, so I looked up tanorexic as a real diagnosis, but it seems to be slang, for those addicted to tanning.

The more accurate clinical description is body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), "a mental disorder in which one is extremely critical of his or her physique or self-image to an obsessive and compulsive degree". While we are at it, I would add in my vote for "George Hamilton Syndrome" - the actor, and another serial tanner that induced the heebie-jeebies.

Now, the woman in the post, Patricia Krencil, was charged with taking her under-age daughter along on one of her tanning binges (here) - which is a legal no-no. However, in the poor woman's defense, the pictures of her daughter clearly show a healthy, pale-skinned, kid, who looks nothing like her easy-bake-oven'd momma. If guilty, she, with same kid in tow, should probably be sentenced to get some counseling - so the little one doesn't grow up disordered, too.

Shrinks are totally welcomed on this one.

James C. Collier


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1 comment:

Edward Ott said...

Growing up i had a neighbor that did this and her appearance really creeped me out,