Will a Mitt Romney-style spray tan improve your job prospects?
The secret of Mitt Romney's honeyed glow is out: spray-tanning. Needless to say, Romney is a partial billionaire, co-founder of Bain Capital and US presidential hopeful. If he sprays, maybe you should too?
More importantly Romney may not be the only former financier to artificially enhance his complexion. Iain Martin, a political columnist at the Telegraph, tweeted this week that he was reliably informed that Bob Diamond was a sprayer as well.
Kelly at Urban Beach Tanning and Beauty in Canary Wharf tells us that they have around 10 bankers coming in for a spray tan on an average week, rising to 20 in the summer. Eighty percent of the spray tanners are women, says Kelly. The men are typically younger than 30. The process costs £35 and the tan lasts 8-10 days. You can't wash for 8-10 hours after the spraying, but thereafter the colour will have seeped into your skin and won't disappear down the drain.
Is spraying really such a good idea however? Barney Tremblay, an image consultant, suggests approaching the matter cautiously: "You want to ensure you're not getting too deep a tan and that you don't turn orange," she points out. "In the current climate, you also want to make sure that you're not implying that you've been on a fantastic holiday in the Caribbean."
One senior M&A banker informed us that the tanning issue is very culturally dependent. "If you come from Continental Europe, there's an expectation that you're going to be tanned. But if you meet a client as a Brit and you're clearly well tanned, they're going to think you spend too much time away from the office and I would advise against it."
If you're out of the market and looking for a job, we would suggest that tanning could go one of two ways: it may imply you're wealthy enough to relax, holiday and stay healthy whilst looking, or it could suggest you're a beach bum who hasn't been working for a while.
With that caveat, Urban Beach is open until 8pm this evening. Alternatively, you could eat a lot of carrots and tomatoes.