Patricia Krentcil, the New Jersey mother who was charged with child endangerment following accounts that she took her then 5-year-old daughter into a tanning bed, had denied the charges. But that hasn’t stopped her allegations, and her “tanorexic” appearance, from becoming the subject of many a public joke. Saturday Night Live recently took a crack at the mother of five using Kristin Wiig, burning toast, and smoke. But what’s so funny about a woman abusing something as dangerous as tanning? As well as a parent who may have endangered her child because of it?
The press has had nothing short of a field day with Patricia given her deep bronzing and comments that her critics are “… jealous, they’re fat and ugly.” Or that those who are accusing her of those child endangerment charges are “not mothers.” While any parent who would lovingly invite their kid into a bed of cancer — knowing what we now know about the risks– is clearly deranged, Patricia’s interviews and extreme tanning practices could hint at a real addiction. An addiction that perhaps is being endured by her young daughter. Some of Patricia’s neighbors have even said that that the mother still went tanning during her pregnancy, suggesting her condition to be more serious than simply a comical preference for orange skin.
While I could probably laugh at Kristin Wiig reading pages from a phone book, Patricia’s possible addiction to tanning isn’t exactly a laughing matter.