TUMBY BAY - Like a lot of people, I’ve got a list of favourite websites bookmarked and neatly arranged across the top of my Google search page.
They start with PNG Attitude and progress to the right through various news sites before arriving at the Tumby Bay weather forecast.
During my usual morning digital trek through these sites I came across a particularly clear close-up image of Donald Trump.
The image brought into focus the precise boundaries of his orange ‘tan’ and the real skin colour under his eyes.
I’m not absolutely sure but it seems that the orange-ness comes out of a bottle rather than a sunlamp.
Also clearly visible was the pink skin under his thinning and obviously dyed comb-over.
There is a delicious irony in this narcissistic attempt by the American president to appear tanned, hirsute and presumably virile.
Why would someone who has trouble suppressing his innate racism want to portray himself as coloured rather than white?
He’s not alone in this of course. White people have been trying to turn themselves brown for most of the last 100 years. Maybe more.
To achieve this they risk a particularly nasty form of cancer as they lie on the beach or their back lawn coated in oil and frying in the sun.
Having a fair complexion myself, and having worked in the outdoors for most of my life, I’ve been lucky so far not to have experienced any skin melanomas.
What I do have, however, are dark sunspots on my face and paper thin skin on my arms and the backs of my hands.
A slight bump on my skin immediately produces a large purple bruise or damaged and bleeding skin.
A white person trying to turn themselves brown is not a good idea.
Indeed, baking in the sun is not smart whether you are white, black or any shade in between. After all, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun.
Maybe there’s a difference between being tanned and naturally coloured. Maybe Trump just wants to look good as an outdoorsy white man rather than turn himself into Barack Obama.
That is, after all, what those girls in flimsy bikinis and their male friends in budgie smugglers are doing at the beach.
So too, I guess, are all those orange and mahogany weight lifters you see on television.
I wonder whether people of colour lust after white porcelain skin in the same manner. Skin whitening cream is a big seller apparently. Lord knows what sort of nasty chemicals that requires.
And look at poor Michael Jackson. He must have spent millions turning himself into a white man (or woman aka Diana Ross?) and then his nose fell off.
But that last bit was the result of too much cosmetic surgery. That’s another Pandora’s Box altogether.
What it boils down to I guess is body image envy. Wanting to appear what you are not. Trying to deflect a sense of insecurity perhaps.
We had a politician in Australia with a magnificent suntan called Andrew Peacock. And a peacock he really was. He had aspirations of leadership but never quite made it.
People don’t really trust politicians with suntans and comb-overs. In Australia at least. Suntans in Australian are analogous to big bellies in PNG.
So why did Americans elect a man with a fake suntan trying to hide his balding scalp as president?
Why did they elect a fake president?