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The “Tanorexic” Mum: Where It All Started
In 2012, New Jersey mum Patricia Krentcil was accused of having her five-year-old daughter tanned at a tanning salon. This came after a school nurse called Child Protective Services when the tot complained of painful sunburn and had said she went “tanning with mommy” days before. Since it was a known fact that Krentcil had a bit of a tanning addiction (her fake tan was more than obvious anyway) she was quickly arrested and charged with child endangerment.
Soon after, “tan mum” became the latest buzzword. Her intense fake tan was blasted by thousands of users online, calling her everything from “crazy tan lady” to “a piece of beef jerky”. Even Saturday Night Live got in on the joke, with Kristen Wiig covering herself in orange makeup and appearing on Weekend Update with literally smoking skin! But while the tan lady memes were hilarious, behind the scenes, Krentcil’s life was falling apart.
Crashing And Burning
Though New Jersey laws state that it is illegal for children under the age of 14 to enter a tanning booth, Krentcil was let off the hook and was found not guilty of her charges. However, at this point, she was already infamous as the old tan lady, and all eyes were on her next move.
The Jersey tan mum allegedly declined to star in a porn film by Vivid Entertainment but found her way to the gay porn film Kings of New York 2. She was supposedly drunk throughout the entire shoot – just one of many instances of public intoxication for the over-tanned woman. She was invited to be roasted at a drag show but had been too drunk even for the red carpet, where she took a tumble and flashed everyone watching.
The media attention had gotten too much for tan mum and her family. Some speculated that because Krentcil had an addictive personality, she went from being addicted to tanning to being addicted to fame. While she was doing guest appearances on talk shows, making rap songs and music videos, and meeting all sorts of celebs, she was still getting ridiculed by the public, and this got to her. She and her husband nearly divorced, and the tan woman turned to drinking to deal with everything.
From Crazy Tan Lady To Botox Biddy
Eventually, Krentcil entered rehab and fixed her life. However, she found a new addiction: botox. Though a couple botox injections aren’t uncommon for women over 50, some people expressed concern that she might take things too far yet again, going from being a very tanned lady to a very Botox-ed lady. Her lips are noticeably different, but so far, we haven’t noticed any drastic changes to her appearance, save for her noticeably lighter skin.
Hospitalisation And Getting Better
In June, Krentcil made the news yet again, but this time it had nothing to do with being the over-tanned lady from years ago. According to US Magazine, She had contracted pneumonia and was hospitalised due to complications. “Currently, she is still on life support (via the incubator) and in a medically induced sleep until her heart and lungs are strong enough to handle functioning on their own”, said Adam Barta, her songwriting partner.
In late June, she was reportedly getting better by the day.
There are a lot of lessons to pick up from the old tanned woman’s tale. First of all, an unchecked addiction could lead you on a weird and painful path. Second, being thrust into the spotlight can be toxic and destructive. We can only hope that tan mum gets better soon and finds her true calling. Hopefully, it’s somewhere far, far away from the tanning salon.