The Importance of Being Orange

I have recently contributed and been published in popular free Northeast Magazine 'Novel Magazine' (issue #10) alongside my good friend Michael Teasdale who has contributed articles on multiple occasions previously.

Beyond the Pale: The Importance of Being Orange
By Steve Paul Myers & Michael Teasdale
I have recently contributed and been published in popular free Northeast Magazine 'Novel Magazine' (issue #10) alongside my good friend Michael Teasdale who has contributed articles on multiple occasions previously.

To read the magazine in full please click here, Like Novel Mag on Facebook and follow @Novel_Magazine on Twitter.

Follow Michael's Tumblr adventures here at Shoebox of Stories

So how did this all come to be? Well I like 847 other people 'Like' Novel Mag' on Facebook and they posted that they were looking for new artists/illustrators for the new issue (#10) so I send through a link through to my website, DeviantArt, Behance & RedBubble accounts.

:D They loved them and asked me if I would be happy to contribute (I was), so Lee from Novel sent me a piece for the new issue (#10) with the instructions to read the piece and illustration a suitable image to accompany said piece. So I opened the sent item in Microsoft Word read the title immediately following and much to my astonishment I read the name of the author.

'Beyond the Pale: The Importance of Being Orange'
By Michael Teasdale


I couldn't believe it, Lee from Novel didn't know that Michael and I had known each other since 2004 never mind the fact that we lived together for 2 years. However, the cosmic balance of the Universe was not disturbed by this strange and uncanny coincidence and I got to work on the illustration.

From the title you may have picked up that the article was about 'Self Tanning' (before I go any further I must point out that Novel Magazine has a theme with each issue and issue #10's theme was 'Vanity). After reading the article one image stuck out in my head and that was 'Amy Childs emerging from a jar of Marmite' this is largely due to this quote from the article and his later reference to "Orange faced TV Banshee Amy Childs";

Like many Caucasian males, I’ve watched lady friends smear on the Black Onyx in preparation for a night on the tiles with a perplexed furrow in my brow, washing the resultant residue from sheets the following morning with that same sense of quiet bafflement.

So without further ado here is my finished piece with an added section from Michael's article.
You see there was a time, before the emergence of the well travelled leisure class, when it was considered popular to be pale. Instead of being the calling card of a return trip from Ibiza, being tanned was then the undesirable benchmark of a day’s grafting in the fields. Skin care companies were dominated not by the human equivalent of Ronseal wood stain but by lightening creams and bleaches.It was the 1920’s before this cultural trend began to turn; when a bronzed Coco Channel drew gasps sailing into Cannes wearing an accidental suntan that western fashionistas rushed to imitate. The tan, now divorced from working class labour, became a byword for exotic continental travel. Lower down the spectrum, the middle class with their lawns and patios and the rise of the bikini converged with the social upheaval of the seventies and the slacktivist approval tanning demonstrated. In the eighties the rise of the silicon-enhanced super woman saw the tan-line become an erotic staple under Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Empire. Bronzed Caucasian bodies were now established in the nation’s subconscious as healthy, fashionable and sexually appealing. Then the nineties came, skin cancer awareness came and somehow the whole thing seemed to get neatly filed away in a drawer along with Hi Karate aftershave and perms. When Jade Goody portentously smeared herself with cooking oil to bake in the Big Brother garden, she found herself condemned not applauded for it. It seemed like the nation was awakening from its sun-induced coma…yet the desire to be bronzed never really faded.

Still desperate to avoid the horrors of pasty flesh, people embraced fake tan and spray-on solutions while risking the occasional mild melanoma on the sun-beds. Fashion houses, fuelled by the heroin-chic, size zero appeal of Kate Moss and co railed against the orange aura as cheap-looking and demonstrating a lack of self control, yet the rank and file of places like the Bigg Market merely shrugged, wearing such labels as a badge of honour pinned to their increasingly tiny hotpants.

To read the full story please click here go to the issuu box below and skip to page 19-20.

On a final note, I'd like to say that I really enjoy Novel Magazine and thank them for allowing me to contribute to this issue (#10) and that I would love to continue to contribute to the magazine in the future.
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