Photo of Andy Murray: Getty
Most of my posts have had a rather serious tone to them, so it's time to have a bit o' fun with this one. For any professional tennis player, there are hazards that they must avoid: the heat, dehydration, injury, non-nutritional food... and sock tans. Well, they can avoid the first four, but the last one is pretty unavoidable. For both men and women pros, they have the same type of oufit: tennis shoes, socks, shorts (men), skirts (women) and a top. Throw in some head bands and wrist bands, and there is a lot of skin that is covered with the exception of their arms and legs. This leads to some interesting tan lines that can be impossible to cover up.
For women pros, it can be quite the challenge to try and find inventive ways to combat the tennis "sock tan". At official WTA parties, they often wear dresses that often expose more skin than what they did on the tennis court. This exposed skin is often a shade or two (or three or four) lighter than their highly bronzed skin that was exposed during their day job. It can be especially awkward with strapless high heels (or high heels of any kind) or a strapless or backless or sleeveless dress. I'm not saying it's an ugly effect. I just find the patterns of different skin colour fascinating and quite amusing because they can't really do anything about their tan lines. They are there to stay, no matter how much they try and cover them with fake spray tans and lotions.
Photo of Novak Djokovic: Rogers Cup
Tennis players deal with the horror of the sock tan easier or harder with the issue depending on the tone of their skin. In the photo at the top with Andy Murray, I don't really see how a fake spray-on tan is ever going to help him blend his tennis-playing tanned neck and arms in with the rest of the real shade of his skin. Novak Djokovic, seen in 2009 at a Montreal fashion show having fun at an event for the Rogers Cup, appears to have been more successful in banishing the evil sock tan from his body. I can't really see any sock tan - even from where his socks were. His body groomer at the event must have done one hell of a blend job. Tennis players have got to hire that person! They would be in high demand.
It's not just tennis players who feel the wrath of the sock tan. Everyone who works outside for a living has to deal with this issue. Sock tans can be ugly. They can be interesting. They can be funny. They can be annoying. They can be time consuming to get rid of. But the one thing that they shouldn't be is stressful. I can see how anyone who works outside (professional tennis players included) who get stressed out and go to extreme lengths to get rid of their sock tans. Some don't care because they know it's impossible, but for others it can be an obsession. Fake spray or lotions just seem to make the situation worse - you have to be so precise with that product. What if you "went over the lines" and into your tanned skin with that type of product? Major body art problem there.
So the solution? Ignore it and be proud of your natural skin tone no matter how humorous it looks ? Slather on the tanning creams, lotions and sprays? Or go the old fashioned route and get some more of that natural tan on your unexposed skin. It appears to work for Canadian professional tennis player Vasek Pospisil (below). In the end, does it really matter? It's only a few tan lines or sock tans. What are you going to do - not go out in public because of your sock tan? Besides, the place where you reveal your sock tan the most is at home, indoors where your loved ones won't care if you have one or not - at least they shouldn't.
Photo: Vasek Pospisil/Twitter
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