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Latest Best of NY

Nina In New York: The ‘Tan Mom’ Is Still A Thing

Patricia Krentcil (credit: CBS 2)

Patricia Krentcil (credit: CBS 2)

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
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By Nina Pajak

Just in case we succeeded in forgetting about her for five minutes, Patricia Krentcil, the so-called “Tan Mom” from New Jersey, is back in the news. But this time, she is using her powers for good.

No. Wait. Deep breath.

I will not write about “Tan Mom” again. I will not write about “Tan Mom” again. I will not write about “Tan Mom” again. I will not write about “Tan Mom” again. I will not write about “Tan Mom” again. I will not write about “Tan Mom” again. I will not write about “Tan Mom” again. I will not write about “Tan Mom” again. I will not write about “Tan Mom” again. I will not write about “Tan Mom” again.

Argh. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this. It’s so easy to get sucked in, you know? This proverbial fruit hangs so low, it’s basically just sitting on the ground waiting to be stepped on and squashed and bruised and turned into a pulpy mess by thousands of passersby. But I don’t want to be part of the problem that brings relatively long-lasting fame to someone who has gained her notoriety by virtue of just being a nutsy cuckoopants who tanned so much that she wound up on the local news.

I do have to commend her for turning her infamy into . . . something slightly more productive than infamy. She’s now a reformed tanorexic, determined not only to save herself from the dangers of melanoma, but also to spread the safety message to all her brothers and sisters in orange. She’s helping others while she helps herself. And what more can we ask of our completely undeserving tabloid celebrities? We create them. We destroy them. We revive them. Then we punish them again. We are their tormentors and their benefactors all at once,  somehow justified in the knowledge that our public cruelty will help pay for their kids’ college educations. Rarely do we demand that they behave better, and so I must applaud Ms. Krentcil for taking such initiative.

Of course, one can’t help but feel like she just continues to be a ball in a pinball machine, allowing fancy words like “YouTube sensation” and “national coverage” to manipulate her into being whatever it is people want her to be. First it was a lunatic Oompa Loompa parading around her backyard with her bloomers hanging out, now it’s the Makeunder Queen of Nutley, NJ. Anything to stay in our clutches. I mean hearts. I mean line of vision.

On the other hand, whatever.