‘Headteacher’s fake tan ban sends a strong message about body confidence’

A school has laid down the most extraordinary uniform ban yet.

No orange.

Orange skin, that is.

Headteacher Matthew Hardwick has banned fake tans on students – prompting both fury and support.

One older pupil this week backed his decision, saying: “I totally agree with what the head has done. Some pupils that wear fake tan actually looked green.” Green?

Still, there has been the predictable overreaction from some, protesting about the little oompa loompas’ loss of liberty.

One woman wrote: “What about a person’s human rights?”

Because obviously the life’s work of Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, Rosa Parks and Millicent Fawcett was all leading up to the moment some teenager would smear herself in Fake Bake at Ulverston Victoria High, in Cumbria.

Meanwhile, another objector wrote: “Lots of kids have total body confidence issues, if a bit of fake tan makes them feel better about themselves then surely this helps with concentration.”

A ‘thought’ which misses the entire point with staggering stupidity.

The whole reason so many teenage girls have body confidence issues is because their Instagram and Snapchat feeds are cluttered with images of perma-tanned ­‘celebrities’ with more St Tropez than sense.

And surely if there is one message we should send to young girls it’s that no amount of fake tan, fake hair, fake boobs, fake eyelashes or fake friends will ever make up for feeling confident in the real you.

Which is why I fully applaud Mr Hardwick’s decision. He took charge of the school – which was once in special measures – only last month, with a mission to improve it.

Ulverston sits in South Lakeland, where one in seven children lives in poverty.

If a school with aspiration and discipline lifts just some of those kids out of that then that’s brilliant.

Schools should be one place children are safe to never have to think about what they look like or if they’ve got the right brand of shoes, the right colour of tan.

Let’s have girls, and boys, concentrating on their school grades, not their skin shades. And then let’s hope Mr Hardwick never has an impromptu visit from Donald Trump en route to Turnberry…

Is the school right to ban fake tan?


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