Monday, June 13, 2011

california sun makes women feel icky.

california sun provides a crucial service to folks. they are devoted to helping consumers achieve the best artificial tanning experience possible in a caring, clean, efficient environment. i bet that environment features understated notes of coconut and juicy fruit chewing gum, all pina colada sweetness and what not.

recently, the folks at california sun thought it would be good idea to advertise on a billboard off highway 49. the advert featured a slim, youthful, blond-bot in a white bikini and cowboy boots (comfortable, terrain appropriate shoes are rather important). she lounges passively on a really comfortable boulder. someone thought it was “pornographic” and covered it with a black tarp in protest. the bee covered the story last week and this rather thoughtful letter to the editor was in the paper today.

Re “tanning ad too hot for some” (Sac Bee, June 10):
I drive by the California Sun billboard on my way to work each day, and what’s truly offensive about it is not that it’s “pornographic.” It’s that California Sun is still holding on to the dated notion that the “perfect” woman is blond, Caucasian (but tan!) and abnormally thin. However, since this company is clearly behind the times when it comes to numerous studies linking tanning beds to a sharp increase in the risk of melanoma, I guess it makes sense that they also hold such an outmoded view of “perfection.”

It’s 2011. It’s high time to let go of the Barbie blonde image and embrace more diverse ideals for beauty. And for goodness sake, put on some sunblock.*

-Kelley Kukis

to tan or not to tan is certainly a ladies personal choice, but perhaps ladies might respond to a different marketing approach. if you agree with mz. kelley and think that california sun’s advertising campaign is old fashioned and predictable, consider sending a friendly suggestion about what kind of images** might inspire you to seek out their very special tanning services. 

of course, if you send a card—and if many of us send a card—we might make a rather warm impression on california sun. bonus points for ladylike handwriting.

Corporate Headquarters
1316 Blue Oaks, Blvd.
Roseville, CA 95678

* indeed, sunscreen is very important. see above, "everbody's free (to wear sunscreen) by baz luhrmann.

** young children should not be casually exposed to images of passive and highly sexualized women en route to day care or school. if she was gardening in her swim suit and terrain appropriate shoes, i might find it less problematic. tan passive sexual object vs. tan active sexual person. it really is a fine distinction that kids pick up on.

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