Bonnie J Brown for Second City Style Magazine
As the bitter days of winter are subsiding, bit by bit women are gradually shedding their many layers of heavy sweaters, wool pants and fur-lined boots and substituting them for sling-backs, gauzy dresses and bare legs. But as the temperatures rise there is one additional layer that is donned, the suntan. Whether the golden hue is achieved naturally from the sun, dangerously from the tanning bed or safely from the bottle,the added glow brightens the skin tone and is the go-to trend for spring and summer months, leaving its wearers with a healthy complexion, a trimmer looking physique (or so it would appear) and the ability to wear white without looking like a ghost. But just as the bikini or the miniskirt is a modern fashion trend, so too is that of the suntan.
Prior to the First World War, pale skin was the epitome of high fashion. Since the Roman ages, fair skin was something only the wealthy could afford. Not only was the upper class the only set of people who could avoid toiling away under the sun’s rays, they were also the only ones who could afford to spend money on white chalks and powders to lighten their skin tones. Most famously spreading this trend was Queen Elizabeth I, who was known to wear white lead makeup contrasted with bright red lips, a beauty trend that was then followed by the rest of her court, even the men. The fact that the lead makeup was detrimental to their health was of no consequence, as it was unlikely known that the powders being used contained arsenic. But even if they had known of its harmful qualities, it wouldn’t be the first nor the last time people sacrificed pain and suffering for fashion. Stiletto heels anyone?
Read more "Fashion’s Glowing Trend" hereSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40
Tags: 'The Ermine Portrait' of Queen Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard, 2011, Bondi Beach, Bonnie J Brown, Chanel Soleil IdentitÃ© Perfect Colour Face Self-Tanner, Coco Chanel, history of fashion, Molly Murphy, Sharon Tate For Coppertone, suntan, Vogue