A mother has clarified that a video she made about giving her child a fake tan was a joke, after she faced a backlash over her footage.
Kylen Suttner frequently posts videos on TikTok about her partner and their four-month-old child. In one clip, posted in March, she could be seen holding up her baby, while she appeared to have a serious look on her face. She also poked fun at the self-tanning product that she joked she used on her child, in the text over the video.
“When everyone is telling me to stop self-tanning my baby but the loving tan employees have families to feed,” she wrote, referring to the popular self-tanning spray, Loving Tan.
In the caption, Suttner added: “loving tan is our fave.”
As the video quickly went viral, with more than 1m views, it sparked mixed responses. However, Suttner has now clarified that her video was actually a joke. During an interview with New York Post, she said that her baby’s tan skin is due to his jaundice, “a condition in which the skin, whites of the eyes and mucous membranes turn yellow”, per Cleveland Clinic.
“Everyone commented on his colour, so I decided to make a joke about it. I would never actually use self tanner on my baby,” she said. “I feel like most people understood it was a joke. But the few who didn’t were appalled that I would self tan my baby.”
Although Suttner made this clarification about her video, the clip was still hit with criticism regarding the use of using self-tanners on babies.
“Disgusting! So horrible!” one wrote, while another added; “I can’t tell if this is a joke?”
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However, many TikTok users poked fun at the video and realised that it was just a joke.
“You gotta keep the tan up, it’s a lifestyle Brian,” one quipped in the comments of the video, while another added: “So funny to me that people think you’re being [for real].”
A third wrote: “I love this… I wish I had his skin colour.”
The Independent has contacted Suttner for comment.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), it is generally safe for women to use fake tan creams and lotions while pregnant. But, the site recommends avoiding spray tans, since “the effects of inhaling the spray are not known”.
“The active ingredient in fake tan is dihydroxyacetone (DHA),” the medical site notes. “As the DHA isn’t thought to go beyond the outer layer of skin, it isn’t absorbed into the body and can’t harm your baby [during pregnancy].”
The medical site also advises against using tanning pills, which are banned in the UK. “They contain large quantities of beta-carotene or canthaxanthin, which are commonly used as food colourings and can be toxic to an unborn baby,” NHS states.