Danielle Erb of Tampa is one of five finalists for the Face of Hawaiian Tropic contest. Online voting at www.facebook.com/hawaiiantropic ends Friday. A winner will be announced July 31.
Sunscreen and the beach are inseparable in Danielle Erb's mind.
The Tampa native, now 22, remembers that family trips to the shore always meant slathering on lotion, covering up in SPF-infused T-shirts and getting her face painted with colorful zinc oxide products. She imagined she was becoming her favorite Disney princess: Pocahontas.
"She drilled (sun protection) into my sister and I," Erb says of her mom and their regular trips to Indian Rocks and other local beaches.
So it's fitting that Erb is now vying to become the face of Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen products. She's one of five finalists in an online competition that's a departure from the bikini contests for which Hawaiian Tropic is best known. A winner will be announced July 31
Erb, who played collegiate volleyball at James Madison University for four years, says the more health-conscious approach to this Face of Hawaiian Tropic contest was appealing.
"It wasn't a bikini contest," she says of the new marketing campaign and the company's decision to retire the beauty competitions.
Erb and the other finalists - including a University of Central Florida student - reflect far more wholesome lifestyles for Hawaiian Tropic. They are athletes, outdoor adventurers, even a cowgirl. They represent the kinds of young women being targeted by companies like Hawaiian Tropic, which has broadened its products from tanning and bronzing to include sun protection and round-the-clock sun care, according to Mintel, a leading retail analyst.
Erb says a lifetime of playing competitive volleyball and other sports has given her confidence, poise and a positive self-image, qualities she wants young girls to see and emulate. Loving how you look should be a reflection of how you treat your body, she says.
"I'm confident in how I look in anything. I love my body, my self and my skin," she says.
The Plant High graduate is interning this summer with a Wisconsin financial services company. But she says she's all Tampa, even joking she was on the sidelines of Tampa Bay Buccaneers games in utero, when her mother, Helen, was pregnant and cheering as a Swash-Buc-Ler.
Winning the contest (which includes trip to Hawaii and time serving as a Hawaiian Tropic spokeswoman) might keep Erb away from Tampa for a while. She's also looking to start her career in marketing elsewhere, seizing the chance to see other places. But she plans to settle back in Tampa and close to its beaches.
"My heart is in Tampa," she says. "But I want to explore the world right now."