What would you do if your 15-year-old developed an obsession with spray tanning? Hang on, let me define "obsession" for you: 4 hours of spray-tanning every morning. $600 spent on spray tanning supplies every month. People shouting, "Oompa Loompa" on the street.
I'm guessing you would've somehow addressed the issue before your kid turned burnt orange, right? See, 15-year-old Hannah Norman's parents didn't do that. And I don't get it. As the mom of a tween (so help me!) daughter, I'm beginning to understand the tricky parental balancing act of raising an adolescent: You want them to express themselves and encourage their individuality and make their own mistakes, but sometimes you HAVE to step in, don't you? Before things get too out of hand?
Hannah's parents didn't do that. In fact, her fitness instructor dad bought her a spray-tan machine for her bedroom and paid for her habit. Meanwhile, poor Hannah was caught in a downward-spiral, getting sucked into a disorder that was beginning to destroy her life:
“My skin was completely stained and I couldn’t get the orange residue off," she said.
For two years I never saw my real skin color. I just kept re-applying the tan to cover up the awful mess that my skin was in underneath. I used so much fake tan over that period that my skin is now allergic to the chemicals.
I couldn’t stop myself. I loved being really dark and I wanted to look like Snooki so I spray-tanned myself every day.
People used to abuse me in the street but it didn’t bother me because I wanted to stand out. Wherever I went, people noticed me and I liked that.
Poor kid. Her parents say they begged her to stop, but what kind of a mixed message is that?! Buy a girl her own spray-tan machine and give her hundreds of dollars every month to use it ... and then "beg" her to give up the obsession?
If one of my kids ever developed a similar problem, I hope to god I would have the sense and strength to nip it in the bud.
Why do you think Hannah's parents let her spray-tan obsession get out of control?
Image via Evil Erin/Flickr