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Her Gay Best Friend: Orange You Looking a Little Crispy? — 5 Practical Uses for Tanorexics

We need to talk.

I apologize if I can't make eye contact with you as I say this, but over time it's just gotten harder and harder to look at you. Every time I see you, I'm overcome with the same great sadness I feel when I look at a raisin --imagining the beauty and juicy deliciousness that once existed before the sun came and snatched it all away.  

Yes, you were tempted with promises of a better tomorrow. Like the poor, naive grape, you believed that the sun would make you better, that people would like you more when they caught a glimpse of how the light had transformed you. But raisins are heinous and shriveled, and unfortunately you didn't fare much better against the abrasive force of UV rays and harsh summer heat.  

I know it wasn't your fault. You have an illness, a condition that compels you to strip off your clothes and destroy your skin, all the while believing that you're making yourself more attractive. 

But sweetie, please believe me when I say that very few people are attracted to what looks like the lovechild of Paris Hilton and an Oompa Loompa. 

I fear that nothing I say will get through to you. Even as I speak, I can feel you eyeing the turkey baster, counting the seconds before you can once again marinate yourself in tanning oil and bake for another hour or two.

But I won't let this addiction of yours consume you. I refuse to let you end up Dumpster-diving for tinfoil for a makeshift reflector and selling your body for five-minute sessions in the tanning bed. You will be a functioning addict, able to contribute to society in productive ways despite your crippling dependence issues --much like the way Rachael Ray and Sarah Palin are able to maintain successful careers despite their obvious addictions to uppers and public ridicule (respectively). 

So to help you achieve success in life, I have listed five career options that are not only viable despite your tanning addiction, but more attainable because of it. All I ask is that you give each one thoughtful consideration --and that you take a moment to stop brainstorming the best ways to minimize the appearance of tan lines. 
 

1. Amateur Superhero 

With the high contrast between your charred flesh and bright, white smile, you may have just harnessed a new superpower to stop criminals dead in their tracks. One flash of those chompers, and you can blind an assailant long enough to brainstorm a witty quip (a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer) before calling on the authorities to put him in his proper place. 

Now we just need a good superhero name. I'd suggest “The Flash” but it's already taken. Plus, it might give the wrong impression for a female superhero.

2. Snow Machine for Hollywood Movies

I know you've always dreamed of a future in film, and you may finally have acquired the talent to make it to the big time. 

Up 'til now, the constant peeling and flaking of your dry, dead skin has just been an unfortunate side effect of getting that movie-star glow. But just think of how in-demand you'll be for Christmas movies! Just by rubbing your arms and shoulders, you can generate enough synthetic snow for every film from The Santa Clause 7: Digging in Your Clause to the new Rudolph movie, starring Charlie Sheen as everyone's favorite red-nosed celebrity.   

3. Extra on Battlestar Galactica

Maybe I'm not giving you enough credit, though. I'm sure that if you try, you'll be able to find plenty of work in front of the camera as well as behind. 

With your other-wordly pigmentation, you'd be right at home on the set of any sci-fi production. And in these tough economic times, producers would probably love to save a couple of bucks on costly alien makeup. Just make sure you practice your Klingon before you get to the audition.

4. Ultimate Soldier 

In between trips to the tanning bed, why not take a moment to give back to your country? The army is always looking for new recruits, and I have a feeling you'll put the rest of those boys to shame.

No need to waste the government's money on a camouflage outfit --now that you've tanned so much that your skin matches your hair, you'll easily blend in to most desert landscapes.  

5. Cautionary Tale

Ever wonder how former reality stars and politicians manage to keep making money over the years? Speaking engagements and public appearances, that's how. 

Word on the street is Bristol Palin gets 15 grand every time she gives an inspirational pep-talk --and all she did was have unprotected sex with a himbo. With your heart-wrenching tale of how social pressures and constant reruns of The Jersey Shore forced you to burn off your epidermis until you were basically deformed, I'm sure you could pull in at least double that.

I hope these suggestions have helped. The last thing I want is for you let this little addiction prevent you from leading a healthy, successful life, and honestly it would break my heart if you ever had to turn to me for financial support after graduation.

Especially because I wouldn't give you any.

Scott Rosenfeld is a junior at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing a double major in Professional Writing and Psychology. Originally from the D.C metropolitan area, Scott grew up with a great passion for the written word. From the time he first read Dr. Seuss, he realized the overwhelming power of human language, as well as the limitless joy of making up words for the sake of rhyme. On campus, Scott keeps busy working as the prose editor for the Oakland Review Literary Journal and an editor for the Thought: Undergraduate Research Journal. He was also recently elected to the position of editor-in-chief for The Cut, Carnegie Mellon’s music magazine, for which he has worked as the copy manager for the past year. As editor-in-chief, he hopes to buy all of his staff a thneed. Because a thneed, he feels, is something that everyone needs.
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