Did they get it from their mammas?

I was both shocked and relieved when the character of Samantha Jones on Sex & the City came out with the line: “Since when did tanning come back into style?” I was like: “since when did it GO OUT of style?” I’ve been sufficiently indoctrinated by those who “didn’t know when we were young” (i.e. my mother) to have grown up knowing that the sun gives you wrinkles, but I’ve also inherently understood that it’s just not cool to be pasty. And so when Samantha uttered that line, I thought, “Oh my God! In the States, tanning is like smoking – it USED TO be super cool, but now it’s all about health and longevity.” The pressure to grill oneself in tan cans and to frazzle on deck chairs has fizzled out!

Alas, alack. If, indeed, tanning ever did go out of fashion, I can confirm that it’s back with a bang amongst the pooling population at Hotel Faena. It has taken me a couple of days to realise that there are actually umbrellas here. Tons of them. They’re dutifully dotted between each and every deck chair. It’s just I hadn’t noticed them because I’d never seen them in use. Any form of sombrero also appears to be wildly untrendy in these parts. With my super practical floppy travel hat I look more out of place than the woman who has her legs permanently spread so the sun won’t miss a spot. And the fact that the deck chairs on either side of the pool face one another, means that the person opposite her gets one helluva view.

I reckon it was destiny that placed me at Faena’s poolside shortly before the advent of the New Year. Just in time to remind myself of my annual New Year’s Resolution: To Get in Shape. Basically, the men can be divided into two categories: they are either fat or they sport six packs. The women, on the other hand, belong overwhelmingly to one category: the “body-to-die-for” one. The Europeans are all slim and in great shape but the Latin American chicks are in a league all of their own: they pretty much look like versions of Giselle Bunchen from neck to toe (above the neck looks pretty good too). It’s either something in the water over here or else they really did just “get it from their mammas”.

Which gets me thinking: is it really nature or is it nurture – i.e. is it in the genes or in the gym? Hmmm. Tricky one. I reckon I’ll need to ponder this over cocktails until the New Year kicks in.