By now you have probably gathered from all the gushing on Twitter that, desperate for some sunshine after more than a month of gloom, cold and rain, I decamped to a place where I knew the sun would be shining: Tel Aviv.
Beyond an assured sunny forecast, I have always had a penchant for anything you can slather on bread: hummus, babaganoush — ‘baby food’ as an old flame once said. So whether it was the dip on my pita or a dip in the sea, I left Tel Aviv feeling well and truly nourished.
What I gather did the trick, though, was the sun.
I have a friend who is really great at asking questions that start conversations by making you reveal your decisions and priorities. These range from the typical last meal type of thing, to ‘What are three designer items you would buy if money were no object?’* Once she asked, ‘If you could do any of the following without consequences, which one would be habitual?’ (note here that the question, originally asked after hitting the mini bottles on an EasyJet flight, now sounds a lot smarter.) At any rate, the options were class A drugs, smoking, drinking, promiscuous sex or sunbathing.
You’re clever; you’ve seen the title of this post. Guess which one I picked?
There are few amongst us who don’t look and feel better with some colour. Similarly, there are fewer things more relaxing, sensual and indulgent than soaking up the sun’s rays, then cooling off in the water just to feel its heat and transformative properties all over again.
Also, consider how you feel about your body after a day in the sun. I guarantee you, you hold yourself differently, you move with more freedom, you wear less make-up and you definitely wear fewer clothes. Suddenly, you like yourself just a little bit more. You feel thinner, you feel healthy and you’re showing off a bit. It’s okay. We all do it.
What about tan lines? We make efforts to avoid them (and should, as white strap lines peeking out of skimpy tops can be pretty déclassé) but, naked, does anything highlight your sex more effectively?
So with all this, does tanned skin attract men? I hope so. What’s not to love about a woman looking her most naturally beautiful and reminding them of her warm, exposed skin?
Since life is not my friend’s quiz, I have to nod to the fact that we must be sun safe. There is nothing LESS attractive than crispy pink skin that makes you look like a pork scratching. There’s also the ageing issue, which I was acutely aware of wading into the water next to impossibly brown Israeli women in hot pink string bikinis (seriously, why do they all look like Bar Refaeli there?). But that’s just one more great thing about the sun. It makes us feel young and dream of the carefree days of our youth, our idealised selves, or even our ideal retirements.
And who wants to look like that anaemic vampire whinge, Bella Swan, anyway? I don’t want a life consigned to difficult child-bearing, some creepily attached amber-eyed in-laws and total devotion to an intensely boring mate, so I’m okay taking my chances with a life outside the dramatic yet skin safe rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.
*My chosen designer items are Louboutin nude heels (UK 5) Chanel handbag (2.0) and a Burberry trench (size 38, me thinks). Just in case any of you were feeling generous.