Need This New Invention? Sun Tattoos
Getting a Sun Tattoo is not exactly a new idea. Kids have been doing it off and on for decades. You take a bit of tape and paste it to your skin in a design and then go out for some fun in the sun. By the time you come back indoors the design will be the reverse of being burned into your skin. Inventor Mitch Lun has taken this old idea and updated it to be 21st century -- instead of just tape Sun Tattoo comes in different self-stick waterproof patterns.
Back in the 1930s it was a thing for some kids at summer camp to get hold of some tape and tape their initials onto their skin before going swimming. By the time they were done with their fun in the sun they would be marked with their own little tattoo. It was a mild form of teen rebellion for the time that would pretty much fade by Christmas. This was documented in the book Mimi at Camp by Anne Pence Davis, published in 1935.
If you want to indulge is some body art you can give something like temporary tattoos a try, though I suggest you go more upscale than one that you get in a box of Cracker Jack. That is, unless you are going for the hyperactive grade-school look.
Another non-permanent option is to get a henna tattoo. This is an age-old art from Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. I've had one of these before. After about a month I looked like I had some weird skin disease. Fortunately, since it wasn't swim suit season, it was easy to hide.
If you Google "suntan tattoos" you will get a bounty of results, but no sources for stickers that are specifically designed for tattooing in the sun. The closest thing is for regular paper stickers in the shape you may want. At the same time you will also see photos of some awesome sun tattoos. So there does seem to be a product gap in the market here.
If nothing else Sun Tattoos could create a way for pasty white skin to be fashionable again -- well, on a small scale anyway. Nobody wants to see stuff like my Moby Dick legs at poolside. My skin is so white that I burn almost the instant I walk out the door. Sun block can give me an extra ten minutes on a good day.
Photos show beautiful sun tattoos on people with nicely tanned skin, but for some reason there don't seem to be any of people who just burn or freckle. It probably still works, but perhaps not as charmingly as it does for people with perfect tans.
Okay, this product would be coming out at a time when we are increasingly warned against the damage the sun's rays and the increase in the rates of skin cancer. Since the product is most likely aimed at young people who believe they are indestructible it will probably work. I can't help but wonder what it would be like to gingerly peel off the stickers amid a field of blisters. I am just guessing, but chances are those people might avoid the stickers almost as much as they avoid the sun (holding up a cross and muttering "sun evil" while hunting for SPF 10,000).
I would be tempted to try these, but then I might discover the truth about how it feels to peel off both sticker and skin. I just can't walk away from unusual, weird, and fun products like this. They are just way too much like me. We'll see if Sun Tattoos get voted into being reviewed by the staff at Quirky.com.
Note: Quirky.com is a website that helps inventors get worthwhile products made and to market. Once an inventor posts their idea the public votes on whether it is an idea the Quirky staff should review. If there are enough votes the staff then considers the viability of the product. Selected products will be manufactured and sold in their online shop and other venues they have partnered with. Thousands of ideas are submitted to their site each week. Out of those thousands only a handful will make the cut.
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Laurie Kay Olson
Clever Problem Solvers