Why Don’t Irish Girls Tan?

Adding to the ‘Hot dogs or Legs’ debate with this photo, taken on a particularly gorgeous day on Nantucket!

hotdogs or legsA certain bruise may give this one away!

I’m all for the beach, the sound of the waves, the glorious sun beating down on you and the smell of sun cream. The Irish love a beach day, wherever we are in the world, the golden beaches of Oz or the pier down the road. Home or Away if the sun sticks its nose out the Irish are unbuttoning and finding sheltered spots to lay out. This all led me to thinking, why don’t Irish girls tan? I feel the real reason must lie somewhere in our Irish beach day formula, so lets look at it step by step.

  1. The Irish girl ‘gathers the troops’: A mass text or Facebook mail must be sent to rally the girls to the beach. We can’t go alone, sure who’ll put the sunscreen on our backs and talk about the other beach goers, ‘Do you see yer wan over there, topless, jaysus’.
  2. The Irish girl forgets the sun-cream’: Despite arriving at the beach with a small army we will always forget the sun-cream. Except that one friend, the one who also hasn’t forgotten her junior cert results, or that you shifted her cousin. She’ll bring some, and she’ll dole out a splodge to each of us.
  3. The Irish girl ‘reapplies-her foundation’: We don’t reapply the sun-cream but are happy for a little extra coverage. Why not? It’s a mix of being in a sun drenched daze and dreading asking yer wan for another splodge.
  4. The Irish girl ‘skips siesta’: Wherever we are in the world, we must lie out at the hottest part of the day, maximum charring. All while muttering, ‘we mightn’t get sun like this again’. Even though its Spain in July so that’s dreadfully untrue.
  5. The Irish girl asks ‘do I look a bit red’: This is the moment. The palest, freckliest, girl pipes up. And all the others turn their heads, and there it is, the imprint of a Pennys bikini, etched onto her. It is worth mentioning that I am usually this girl-fragile, dehydrated and in need of a 99.
  6. The Irish girl ‘Says a Hail Mary and an Aloe Vera’: After packing up the Capri-suns and uploading some instagram shots, we head home. Skin pinked and threatening to peel. The Cure: Aloe Vera and After-sun, with a little Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs.
  7. The Irish girl ‘Wakes White???’: And after a sleepless night of sticking to the sheets the Irish girl awakens, pale as a ghost.


You see I’m not quite sure where we go wrong? I’ve experimented many times with the above formula and all I’ve gotten is sunstroke-twice! I know many Irish ladies are shouting out now about the colour they change to with just a sprinkle of sunshine, but for the majority of us its just not happening. I’ve a thousand freckles to pay tribute to my sun catching summer, but not one bronzed limb.

What are your best tanning tips?!



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