The Spray-Tanned World of Reality TV

No, those perfectly toned abs on Dancing With the Stars aren't all real
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2009 10:46 AM CST
In this Monday Oct. 26, 2009 photo provided by ABC, Chelsie Hightower, left, and Louie Vito perform during "Dancing with the Stars" in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Larkey)
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(Newser) – Ever wonder how every contestant on Dancing With the Stars looks so toned? It’s not all due to the workouts: Spray tanning experts are on call for DWTS and other reality shows, and they don’t just make contestants look darker—they add enhancements from six-pack abs to toned arms. “You go in feeling fat and frumpy, and you come out feeling skinny and hot,” one dancer tells the Wall Street Journal.

These aren’t your mother’s spray tans—unlike store-bought concoctions that can leave you a strange shade of orange, the reality show pros have a special formula. But that doesn’t eliminate tanning faux pas: Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor (who is African-American) supposedly had to get sprayed to match his over-tanned Polish dance partner. Not to mention, “People look at you like you're a weirdo when you go in the grocery store,” says another contestant.