"Tanning Mom" stops tanning— those are the last words anyone expected to utter when they considered Patricia Krentcil, the 44-year-old New Jersey woman who was arrested for taking her 5-year-old daughter to tan.
The Tanning Mom stopped tanning at the request of In Touch magazine, who challenged the former model to quit her skin-damaging ways for just one month. After 30 days without going into a tanning booth— although Krentcil still used Jergens self-tanner— she looks considerably different than her former leathery, golden-orange hue.
Krentcil stopped hitting the tanning booths for four to five times a week, and in only 30 days, her skin lightened significantly. The noticeable change is considered a positive step in the right direction for many critics, who warned that her continued use of the booths was damaging her skin.
"Everyone says I look so much better less tan," Krentcil told In Touch. However, the change could be short-lived, as the mother isn't used to herself looking lighter.
"I feel weird and pale," Krentcil admitted, denying that she was addicted to tanning, but acknowledging that sometimes she feels she "needs to be tan."
The ordeal surrounding the mother and her infamous nickname began when her daughter went to school "badly burned," according to NBC News. The girl told teachers she "went tanning with mommy," so authorities arrested Krentcil; New Jersey law bans anyone younger than 14 from tanning.
After Tanning Mom was released on $25,000 bail, she came out against the story, saying her young daughter had gotten the skin rash from sunburn outdoors.
"I would never in my life let me daughter, especially at that age, go into a tanning booth," Krentcil told Good Morning America. She did admit that her daughter was present when she went, however.
"It's like taking your daughter to go food shopping," she told NBC 4 New York at her Nutley, N.J. home. "There's tons of moms that bring their children in."
The girl's father, Rich Krentcil, also defended Patricia, saying that the teacher had misunderstood his daughter.
"This whole big thing happened, and everyone got involved," Rich Krentcil said. "It was 85 degrees outside, she got sunburned. That's it. That's all that happened."
Now that Tanning Mom has stopped tanning— at least for now— perhaps her daughter could learn from her mother's mistakes. Physicians warn that 30 days without the booths won't be enough to reverse years of permanent skin damage from UV rays.