These fair competitors are fit to be tanned

July 22, 2004|TODD KLEFFMAN

At age 7, Kaylie Hurlbert is well on her way to becoming a sun goddess. With sun-streaked hair framing a pretty face and skin toned like a perfectly roasted marshmallow, it's clear Kaylie possesses all the natural abilities to take her golden brown look as far as she wants to.

Kaylie put that look on public display Wednesday night at the Boyle County Fair, where she made everyone's pre-contest predictions come true by winning Best Tan in Town, junior division, honors over three other little girls who, though glowing in their own right, were just not in Kaylie's league.

Kaylie is not one of those "fake and bake" tanners who spend oily minutes stretched out like a corpse inside a salon bed, baking to an all-over well-doneness. No, Kaylie is an old-school tanner, applying the tried-and-true techniques used by generations of brownies before her: She lets the tan come to her. "I just play in my granny's pool all day long," said Kaylie, who lives in Harrodsburg with her mother, Amanda Bailey. "When I'm out in the sun, it just attacks me."


Kayla and Kelly Boyd, on the other hand, "prefer modern technology over Mother Nature to perfectly tan their hides. The self-described daughter-mother "tanaholics" from Danville took first and second place, respectively, in the adult division. While the duo does have their time in the sun, they freely admit that they depend on high-watt bulbs and high-priced potions to hone their tones.

"We go together to the booths year-round," Kelly Boyd said. "The secret is a good lotion. Some oils just bring out the darker pigment in your skin. I have eight different bottles that cost me anywhere from $10 to $40 each."

For their combined $10 entry fee, the Boyd's took home some pretty impressive booty from Tanfastic in the Green Leaf shopping center, which sponsored the contest and just happens to be the Boyd's home tanning base. Their tans earned them 50 visits to share, which would have cost them more than $100 if they had to pay for them.

Kaylie was just as pleased with her prize package, which included coupons to Finley's Fun Center and McDonald's. The winnings were enough to make the risk of putting herself on public display for the first time in a pageant-type setting worth the reward. Kaylie said she tried to back out before the contest began, but her mother insisted. "I was kind of nervous. It was very, very embarrassing, but I enjoyed it," she said.

Bailey explained, "She didn't want to do it at first. She was scared, but I said, "We drove all the way over here just to do this and you're going to do it.'

Kaylie's success in her first-ever contest had visions of grander things to come dancing in her mother's head. At first, Bailey said her motive for pushing Kaylie into the contest was simply "I just thought she had a really pretty tan." But then the mother's more ambitious desires surfaced. "I just wanted her to get in front of people to get her over being shy," Bailey said. "Actually, I want her to be a model is what I want."

The Boyds, too, have their own dark little family tanning secrets. The whole family is quite competitive about the color of their skin, often going forearm-to-forearm to see who's the brownest. It turns out Dad, Jay Boyd, is quite the golden boy himself, but wouldn't be caught dead in a tanning bed and openly ridicules his wife and daughter for spending so much time and money at the salon.

Both Kayla and Kelly Boyd admitted that they would have paled in comparison to Jay Boyd if he had entered the contest. But, fortunately for them, he was out of town. In Florida. Working on his tan, no doubt.

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