A Better Shade Of You

I listen to Pandora a lot- in the car, at my desk, in the shower, at the gym. Despite the fact that it’s essentially my sole music source, I refuse to pay $4 a month for a service that will not allow me to permanently opt out of any and all songs that are sung, collaborated on, or in any way touched by Ellie Goulding. She could sing a heartwarming rendition of our country’s national anthem and I would still throw up. Give me a “No More Of This Bitch” button and I’d pay $8 a month. YOUR MOVE, PANDORA.


Because I am cheap and somehow under the illusion that I am sticking it to Pandora by continuing to use the free version of their service rather than the paid one, I hear approximately 2 ads per 4 songs. I am confident that by 2016, Pandora will be solely an ad-streaming software, with paid members receiving up to 4 songs per hour. The ads are targeted based on your age, gender and music taste. Pandora  has (correctly) pegged me as a basic-ass bitch, because the only 3 stations I listen to anymore are Third Eye Blind, Beyoncé, and Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake”. Over the last month, I’ve been hearing the same ad for Palm Beach Tan roughly 4x per day.

The music and the voiceover are both calm and soft, so you aren’t really even aware that you’re hearing an ad until about 10 seconds in. Some bitch is playing the harp; another bitch (or perhaps the same, multi-tasking bitch) is speaking to you in soothing tones about self-improvement, being the best person you can be, achieving your goals, etc. Every time I hear it, I’m thinking “for Pete’s sake, just tell me what this yoga studio is called and play me Semi-Charmed Life already”. And then they bust out the buried lede: “Because when you feel better on the outside, you feel better on the inside. Palm Beach Tan: A Better Shade of You.”

Did y’all hear that? Picture this: you are a sad, angry, bitter, cynical shell of a human. Your family, friends, and loved ones have disowned you, citing irreconcilable differences, that one time you tried to sell your niece to a brothel in exchange for drugs, and “Jesus, Samantha, who gets THAT drunk at a christening?” Your coworkers have “forgotten” to invite you to lunch for 2 straight years. Even the cat has been distant.

BUT WAIT! Palm Beach Tan can fix it.

Because if u change ur outside, and now u think ur pretty, Everything Will Be All Better.

This is amazing! I have wasted SO much money on therapy over the past 8 years. “Talking about my feelings”; “analyzing my behavior patterns and discussing how to effect positive change”. Can you even imagine how much tanning, fake hair, rhinoplasty, and frenzied liposuction I could have purchased with 8 years worth of therapy dineros? IMAGINE HOW HAPPY I COULD BE!!!??!?

It’s most important to note that, while changing your physical appearance is the most crucial step in becoming a better person, slathering your skin in *SeXy BeAcH SuRpRiSe*-scented baby oil and frying it in concentrated UVA/UVB rays 4x a week is BY FAR the best way to begin your ascension into sainthood. Palm Beach Tan’s marketing department is convinced, and soon, you will be too:


Ahh, the unimaginable. Like going to the dermatologist in your 20s and finding out that you have melanoma. Scabbing moles; bleeding lumps on your ears, nose, hairline. *longing sigh*


”Hey, Susan! Wanna try my watermelon/blue raspberry Sno Cone and then go get
basal cell carcinoma by sitting in a small, plastic tube that’s still coated in the last user’s
Kim Kardashian Brand XTreme Bronze Tanning Fluid©?”


“MacKenszieye, the girls and I had brunch this weekend and we really need to talk to you about something… It’s little Aiiydaen. He’s just looking… ugh, this is hard to say… he’s just so PALE, and he doesn’t fit in with Kaiaiala, Brynnne, Zachkariahahahh, and Jaydeienne anymore. We think it’s time you upgraded to the Golden Black DiamondGold Palm Beach Tan membership so you can Tan A Friend 4 Free, or… *sniffle*… it may be time for him to find another playgroup.”


“Bae? I wanted to surprise you for Valentine’s Day, so… I booked us the Honeymoon Suite at Palm Beach Tan! We’ll be close enough to smell each other’s baking flesh AND discuss whose health insurance will cover the biopsies. I LITERALLY love you more than being alive. ❤ “

(PS- If I were Chris Hemsworth or Amy Schumer right now, I would be livid. How did this picture get out?? Someone’s assistant is SO fired.)

I will pause here and say that, yes: maybe I am just jealous and/or “a hater” when it comes to tanning. I have strawberry blond hair, blue eyes, and a wide variety of freckles and moles. I have acquired a sunburn from simply typing the word “tanning” as many times as I’ve had to in the course of this post. When I was 21, my dermatologist recommended that I wear a sunshirt for the duration of any pool-related activities- a suggestion that, shockingly, I have ignored.

Regardless, I take massive issue with yet another industry that presents women as fundamentally not-good-enough. A tan does not make you healthy. A tan does not magically turn you into “a better shade of you”. You are open-hearted, a good friend, thoughtful, and “seductive” enough already. Unless your pathetically undamaged skin is the only thing standing in between you and a life of selfless philanthropy, the only thing you’re getting is a chance at being 1 of the 400,000 annual indoor-tanning-related cases of skin cancer.


Well said, Palm Beach Tan. The only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.

*And to make repeated efforts to change your skin color to the one that society allegedly finds most attractive.
**And to spend $50 a month to harness and multiply the power of the sun, which is usually outside where you can have it for free.
***Alternatively, you could spend $30 twice a month to be sprayed with yam-colored liquid skin dye so that when the Yam People invade, they will mistake you for one of their own and spare your life.
****Basically, you must do whatever is in your power to be a Bronzed Goddess©. If you are not currently a Bronzed Goddess©, it is imperative that you become one immediately. Because you have to be true to yourself. Y’know?


  1. avitable · May 14, 2015

    Well, I WAS going to name my son Zachkariahahahh, but not anymore. NOW THAT YOU’VE RUINED IT.


  2. Katie Nelson · May 14, 2015

    Carly–I was crying at my desk during the first few paragraphs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bonnie B. · May 15, 2015

    “YOUR MOVE, PANDORA” will cause me to giggle for far too long.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. larry krieger · June 8, 2015

    F’ an A girl, I love this sh#__%!! and I can comment almost as if i had a frkn facebook page which, sadly, i had to close once you left me for good. Come home I need you!! P

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah RSarah · June 9, 2016

    Haha – I love this! I hate these ads so much that I’ve been researching how to block them on pandora, and came across this. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this. Also glad to know that they haven’t changed their marketing approach in over a year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carly's Into That · June 9, 2016

    Pandora ads in general are SO annoying, and the tanning ones are just the worst… they don’t seem to care that everyone hates them, either. Thanks for reading, Sarah! 🙂


  7. Lindsay H · July 1, 2016

    OMG… this post made me both relieved and sad. Relieved that there are others out here that go livid every time PBT ads come up and sad that there is no escape or solution to this terrible problem. I emailed Pandora about it. We need one of those computer bots to send PBT and Pandora endless emails complaining about their ads. -peace


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