Zagar turns 100 years old

bdisappeared before the beginning of the 20th century. Chic thanks to Coco Chanel. Collective hobby of the 60s. Like fashion, tanning also depends on mixed conditions.. Today, for example…

Tintarella, history

History sometimes creates strange coincidences, like a tan. Just think: there is a particularly amusing case that links the most famous cereals in the world to the success of the modern concept of tanning. And it all comes down to that American doctor named John Harvey Kellogg who in the second half of the 19th century, working at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, convinced of the harmfulness of a meat diet, created the famous corn flakes that have since borne his name: Kellogg, or the world’s most beloved. He also became convinced after his experiments that hydrotherapy and heliotherapy are a panacea for health. It so happened that at the beginning of the century he first treated the gout of the English king Edward VII. electric light bath, a kind of solarium ante litteram. It worked.

Tan was born as light therapy

On the other hand, in 1903 my colleague Nils Finsen received the Nobel Prize in Medicine thanks to “light therapy” who used the sun to treat diseases such as rickets and tuberculosis. In short, the notion spread that the sun could be beneficial, even if tanned skin was still against the accepted standards of beauty, which concerned not only an aesthetic principle, but also determined social status. At the beginning of the twentieth century, only those who did hard work, farmers in the fields or workers on scaffolding and construction sites, endured the sun’s rays with impunity. The ladies of high society of that time, thanks to umbrellas, hats and gloves, struggled with every slightest shade of amber skin, which was destined to remain white and flawless … Noblesse oblige.

Coco Chanel: tan is a symbol of freedom and well-being

But they did not count on the tornado of Coco Chanel, who exactly 100 years ago, in July 1923, photographed herself on french riviera with golden skin, returning from a Mediterranean cruise. His friend, Prince Jean-Louis de Faucigny-Lucinge, summed up this historic moment very clearly: “I think she invented the habit of sunbathing. But on the other hand, at that time she invented everything “. Of course, it would be an exaggeration to attribute this aesthetic revolution only to Mademoiselle Coco, but there is no doubt that it was an epochal revolution.

Solarium: the movement of the tanned

The American monthly magazine Vogue wrote about it in 1929: “The sunburn movement, the “burnt skin” movement, gave birth to a new industry, including bathing suits, cosmetics and clothing, whose goal is to conquer and display honey. – color of the skin. But not only Koko demonstrated a new freedom.

On the other side of the ocean, flappers have begun to turn tanning into a tool of freedom after they have destroyed the conservative schemes of the terrible Victorian era by dancing, smoking and drinking. French seaside resorts, as well as resorts on the American east coast, began to keep their doors open all summer long, leading the wealthy classes to turn sunbathing into a real leisure activity, admirably described. F. Scott Fitzgerald on some pages dedicated to the Cote d’Azur, in “Gentle Night”.

Northern intellectuals against sunburn

Even if then someone, especially among the intellectual elite of the North, hated this business. Swiss artist, writer and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach of which Il Saggiatore published “My eyes on the world“, – he wrote in the 1920s about the strip of coast between Menton and Marseille: “What can you do here? Lying on the beach all day? This is something that almost everyone dedicates themselves to in order to feel completely at ease. And it should be noted that no one seems to feel guilty. There they were, without thinking about the time, without even thinking, half-naked, tanned and in some cases very pleasant to look at. They are idle there, wasting valuable time… even a heavy Nordic, a slave to work and oppressed by the fog, quickly adapts to this way of looking at things.”

Clothing suitable for tanning

And a few lines below:Perhaps it also depends on the clothes… You buy wide sailor pants that are inexpensive and cheap… a bright and open shirt, which in these parts is called chemise d’Antibes, and you are radically transformed: you become bolder and even bolder. We become carefree and carefree, we stop observing the set meal times and eat what we want … “. The strength of the light of the Riviera and its irreproachable joy of life. Lunar skin has given way to tanned skin – a new symbol of well-being: Having the time and money to tan was the new luxury everyone wanted, freeing themselves, as Anne Marie wrote, of any sense of guilt.

First tanning oil and sunscreen

He was then a stylist Jean Patouto invent L’Huile de Chaldée, the first tanning oil, followed by the first oil with a UV filter, L’Oréal’s Ambre Solaire in 1935. Instead, sunscreen appeared in the 1940s.but became famous in 1956 thanks to the advertising campaign of a little girl with a dog.

Bikini and Roman Mosaic

When he then jumped out bikini in July 1946 the game was completed. Who would resist the temptation to have a perfect and more or less whole tan? No one then remembered that the suit, invented by two French stylists, Louis Riard and Jacob Heim, was nothing more than an intellectual reinterpretation of the two-piece suit of the Roman imperial period (1st-2nd century AD), not in use at that time. for swimming (an activity that the Romans practiced naked), but also for the sports exercises of young women. In Sicily, in the Roman Villa del Casale, 5 km from Piazza Armerina, in the famous Room of Ten Girls, a mosaic depicts young women in separate swimsuits engaged in various sports.

Self-tanners and celebrities

For those who could not then afford such a luxury, then the first self-tanners were born, makeup products that made the skin darker, like Glory of the Sun 1929 English Harper’s Bazaar writes: “In the 1950s, researcher Eva Wittgenstein noticed that the drug stained the skin of patients, but not their clothes: dihydroxyacetone, safely staining the outer layers of the epidermis, would later be used in self-medication. – Tanning products including Man Tan, Sudden Tan and Quick Tan from Coppertone. But you’ll have to wait until 1998 to get self-tanner. mystical tanbeloved by American celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, Demmy Moor and not the last Julia Roberts.

And today? Protected skin, less tanned but healthier

However, today everything has become more difficult, the sun has become angrier, and we are all more attentive. As if to say, if you once exposed yourself to the first sun with impunity, now you apply sunscreen even in the park or on a bike.. And white, light, nuanced skin, but definitely not a “tan”, is slowly showing through again. If not in the name of social class, then at least in the name of our health.

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