Friday 18 October 2019

Sinead Moriarty: 'My tan's fake, but it makes me feel good'


'For a few days you feel less self-conscious on the beach surrounded by bronzed stunners.'
'For a few days you feel less self-conscious on the beach surrounded by bronzed stunners.'
Sinead Moriarty

Sinead Moriarty

Every year I think, this summer I'm not going to bother getting a spray tan for my holidays.

Then, I try my swimsuit on, stand in front of the mirror and charge out and book an appointment. Grey-blue skin just doesn't do well on the beach.

So I get my spray tan and head off. I arrive to foreign climes brown but come home from the holiday as white as snow as the tan wears off. Why bother? Why stand in a booth in paper pants being sprayed by a stranger before you go on holidays?

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Because, it makes you feel better. For a few days you feel less self-conscious on the beach surrounded by bronzed stunners.

You feel less pasty, less obviously "foreign", less conspicuous. For a few days I know how shiny my jewellery would look if I ever had a tan (something I've never had - heat rash and freckles, yes; tan, no). For a few days I look sun kissed.

And then it gradually washes off with each swim and shower and I wonder why I bothered. I say, next year I'm not doing it, I'll just embrace my pasty skin and own it. Maybe one day I will; for now though, I'm booked in for my tan.

What a racket and I love every moment

Wimbledon to me is the sound of summer. When I was growing up, we lived with my granddad who was a big tennis fan.

For the first two weeks of July you would find him in his rocking chair, TV blaring watching the tennis. You could hear the sound of balls pinging off rackets and the umpires calling out the score in their cut-glass accents all over the house.

Occasionally you'd even hear John McEnroe having a hissy fit - "You cannot be serious?"

My granddad was an avid tennis supporter but struggled with some of the names. Tina MacAlova (Martina Navratilova), Mat Spilander (Mats Wilander) and Anna Mandilova (Hana Mandlikova). When the games got close, the rocking chair would start shaking and, by God, if it got to a fifth set the chair would nearly take off.

I still love the sound of tennis balls pinging and the crowd cheering, it brings me right back to childhood summers. Wimbledon continues to be the background sound of my summer.

Cup winners' swagger will help to change world

There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the US women's soccer team. While they may have too much swagger for some, I think the word arrogant is being bandied around a little too freely.

It's good for young girls to see women who are proud of their talent, who are determined, focused and not afraid to claim their winning status.

They have achieved great things, they have reached great heights in their sport.

You also have to admire their determination to get equal pay.

This team of women entered the World Cup while undergoing a legal dispute with the US Soccer Federation, demanding parity with the less successful US men's football team.

The complaint argues that it isn't even about equal pay for equal work, but equal pay for better work - the women have won four World Cups, the men have won none.

It is women who push boundaries, shout loudly and do not shy away from the battles that change the world.

I hope this focus on their "arrogance" does not take away from the great things they are achieving on and off the pitch.

Irish Independent

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