As Spring Break quickly draws near, many students are rushing to the gym and starting diets in order to prevent feeling uncomfortable while wearing a swimsuit in the presence of others. Exercise and calorie counting are good ways to prevent that bad feeling (the feeling you have in dreams where you are naked at school and desperately trying to cover yourself), but it does not look so good when your skin is as pale as Sean Patrick Flannery in “Powder.”

Paul Wong

Endless Summer, Untamed Tan and Southern Exposure may all sound like titles for bad B-movies, but they are actually the names of local tanning salons. While the tragic closing of Southern Exposure, formerly located on South University Ave., may have caused many students to endure the agony of pitiful white, almost translucent skin, there are many other places to obtain a tan.

Tanfastic Tanning Spa, a salon with locations on Main Street and North Campus, currently offers students a tanning package of 12 visits for $55. Voted the “Best in Ann Arbor,” Tanfastic boasts a waiting room with a tropical display of bold colors and stays open until midnight Monday through Friday. Besides these impressive attributes, the salon is also a great place to meet girls.

Stephanie Thompson, an employee at Tanfastic, described this added bonus, “Most of our customers are girls, and business has been very busy since the New Year.”

Tanning seems to be a popular trend for guys too. Merna Stevens, manager of the Untamed Tan salon in Ypsilanti (for those who desire to go beyond Ann Arbor or who want to avoid the embarrassment of people realizing that their tan is a fake), said “More men are tanning now than they did last year.”

Untamed Tan (assumed to have garnered its name from the film “Untamed Heart,” which stars a very pale Christian Slater) offers a great deal for students. For the price of $14.99 per month, those with valid student identification can tan as frequently as they want.

Students with winter tans are often assumed to have visited sunny places during winter break, but some who stayed in cold places during the break are simply trying to fit in with all of the bronze faces. These students, who pretend to have a tan earned on the beach dare not experience the excruciating humiliation of admitting to tanning at a salon.

“I go to Tanfastic to look tan, and I will continue to go so I don”t look pale, but I don”t want anyone to know that I go tanning,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous in order to save her reputation as having a “real” tan.

While tanning may be a popular trend for many tropics bound students, others may prefer to save their skin from dangerous light exposure and save money.

LSA sophomore Alyssa Kalata, experiences peer pressure from her friends to go tanning, but she understands that it may not be for her.

“There”s no point to pay somebody else to get a tan when I could just go outside and sit in the sun,” Kalata said. “Besides, I would not want to tan in one of those scary, cramped little things.”

LSA junior Scott Waldman explains the beauty of being pale. “Natural is the way to be. Why would you want to stick out like a sore thumb in the Michigan winter? That”s kind of lame.”

It appears that staying true to one”s own beliefs is a much better way to live than trying to look like somebody else. While tanning may be a way to prepare for Spring Break and meet girls, it does not last. A tan fades away for the reason of letting one”s true color show. Besides, in “Untamed Heart,” Christian Slater got the girl.

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