Unless you are asleep in a tanning bed somewhere, you have probably heard the story of the “crazy” tanning obsessed Patricia Kentcil, who made headlines when she was accused of taking her five year old daughter tanning with her and “allegedly” allowed her to use a tanning bed. The story is spreading like wildfire, as Patricia’s appearance is definite proof of an “overzealous” tanner. It’s not just the news media who are exploiting this story, but Patricia seems to be a comedians dream! Recently SNL jumped on the band wagon airing a skit starring Kristin Wiig as Patricia. It is a hilarious skit that even Patricia found entertaining. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a “Patricia” costume for Halloween next year!
While so many of us have enjoyed a laugh over this story, it is important to realize that Patricia really is oblivious to how ridiculous she looks, at one point calling those who made fun of her “fat ugly people who are jealous.” This is a typical response from someone who is still in denial. They tend to be hostile and defensive (Psych. 101). Sadly, Patricia is like so many others who has blurred the line between obsessive and not.
When I first saw Patricia in the news, I have to admit I did find her appearance funny. While it is easy to laugh at her, I must confess, as I teen I was
traveling that same road. I was obsessed with tanning, and would literally bake myself crispy… time and time again. I would lie on sheets of aluminum foil and
cover myself in cooking oil, then lay out for a good 5 or 6 hours. My skin would literally bubble, but I just couldn’t get enough. I now use self-tanning lotions, and my kids are not shy about letting me know when I need to stop. Being out in the sun is still one of my favorite things, but I really make an effort to discipline myself. When the time comes though, I do want to be buried with Coppertone!
We are all susceptible to becoming obsessive. I always say “I can resist anything but temptation.” There is just so much temptation out there. People are seduced by bigger and better every day. Just off the top of my head I know one can become addicted to: Alcohol, cleaning (go figure!), couponing, dieting, eating, hoarding, plastic surgery, shopping, tanning, working… and the list goes on. It is just too easy to cross over to the dark side with any of these. Remember, it’s a
For example, I would not call myself a “hoarder” but, I do have trouble getting rid of things. I remember being so proud of myself a few summers back, when after much procrastination, I finally got my act together (with the help of family and friends) and had a tag sale. It was the perfect way to rid our house of so much clutter. To me there was no downside. We were able to unload a bunch
of stuff we no longer needed, and make a profit while doing it. Guess what… I found a downside. The next time I went to throw something away, I thought, hmmm, I should hang on to this for the next time I have a tag sale. Needless to say, I will probably never have another tag sale, and I am once again up to my elbows in clutter.
It is always so much easier for us to identify a problem in others. Look how we all knew that Charlie Sheen was NOT winning, Joan Rivers young appearance is not “natural” and that no, we are not all jealous of Patricia Kentcil.
When it comes to identifying obsessive behavior in ourselves, I think some of us are a little closer to that line then we care to believe. When it comes to myself, I try to keep an open mind. It has been hard for me to give up sunbathing, but I know it was becoming unhealthy. I miss the warm sensation of basking in the sun, but using the self-tanning lotions provides me with that “sun-kissed” look I love. There are those people who tell me I am getting carried away and my skin is starting to look orange, to those idiots I say, maybe you ought to get your eyes checked. No problem here!