Last night one thing was certain on the American Idol tryouts, and it wasn’t that Milwaukee has a ton of talent. It’s that J. Lo has obviously declared, "Winter be damned!" Her brown skin could've rivaled Snookie’s, and the innocent viewers were forced to watch yet another example of When Tanning Gets Spooky. Remember when it was just Paris Hilton who abused the tanning salon? Now nearly every star—whether they’re flashes in the pan or of Jennifer Lopez mega-proportions—is familiar with the insides of a tanning bed or a spray bottle.
Can we be naïve enough to think that means that everyone wants to be brown because they think it is the epitome of beautiful? Before we hold hands around the campfire and sing kumbaya, let’s remember that few of the legions of women walking around with collagen-filled lips seem to be making race statements. And, to J. Lo’s credit, last night she was a shade that she might have gotten after a few days on a beach. So maybe she was just back from a vacation, though she did have that slightly orange glow that suggests it’s not a genuine tan.
In addition, are trend-happy Black people about to swap the paper-bag test for the chocolate-chip-morsel tryout? Or are we just going to be subjected to more bronzing abuse, that condition where there is so much metallic-hued powder on a face that the woman tends to look like a statuette or a special effect in an '80s video?
It’s just one more reason why summer needs to hurry up and get here.
Image: Michael Becker / Fox / PictureGroup