Wednesday, June 09, 2010

There's the Rub

"It's because it was designed by men," I remember her (not to be named) saying.  The complaint was thrown at the dishwasher, used daily by women, but designed by men (she assumed).  A woman, was the implication, would have designed it differently, better.

I thought of the comment when I was in Wally World the other day and stood perplexed in front of the suntan lotions.  I wanted Coppertone rub-on lotion because I love the smell of it.  (I know, it's like going to buy a car and the color being the most important feature.  It's really not that important, but the smell reminds me of vacations.)  All of the lotions, just about, were spray on.  No rub on.

This has to be because most of the people formulating and manufacturing sun tan lotion are older men:  men who are married and don't really want to rub the suntan lotion into the back of their wives, who could really use the soothing, relaxing back rub by a pool on a hot day.  No, now it is "spritz, spritz", "There you go dear, all done."  Progress isn't always progress, you know.

It got worse.  One can also buy a self-applicator for suntan lotion.  Now that's just sad.  It folds up to fit neatly in your purse.  You can spray your suntan lotion over your shoulder, and then make sure it is evenly spread by using the applicator to rub your own back.  Or use it for rub-on lotion if you are lucky enough to find some.

Suntan lotion these days should come in five gallon buckets.  We wouldn't dream of going outside without it.  We feel profound guilt and judgement as parents if our children turn red from exposure.  "That's just child abuse," I overheard a parent observing a child badly burned in the sun.  "They ought to know better."  Dh and I reminisced about our youth, when suntan lotion was rarely used, maybe only on the beach on vacation.  Maybe.  One was expected to get a little red the first day or two, which would then turn browner for your base, and you built your suntan on that.  Suntan lotion was used to enhance tans, not prevent them.  If you really wanted to protect yourself, you could get spf 8!  Now it goes up to sfp100.

And don't think, men who design suntan lotion, that I'm not on to you concerning price either.  Those spray on cans contain very little suntan lotion.  $7 for a can that lasts my family two days.  The rub on is much more concentrated, more lotion for the money.  But then, we'd have to rub it on, wouldn't we?

When I was in college and living at home, I remember that my darker skinned sisters (they took more from our Italian heritage) were tanning in the yard using baby oil (!) to properly cook themselves.  I took my German skin outside, applied the oil, and burned my forehead so badly that it blistered.  The fluid in my forehead moved south, nearly swelling shut my eyes.  Perhaps lotion is progress after all.

My favorite:

Coppertone Oil Free Sunblock Lotion for Faces, SPF 30 - 3 fl oz (Pack of 3)

1 comment:

pita-woman said...

Ah, sunscreen. We buy it, but rarely use it. And as many spots as I've had removed of late, you'd think I'd be slathering it on. But I do love a nice brown tan, so I resist putting applying it.
I'm all for the spray, as I don't like rubbing lotion on my husband... it's a body-hair thing (not that he's real hairy), but it just grosses me out.


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