On April 18, 2022, the phrase "testicle tanning" started trending on Twitter, after the practice was touted in a new promo for a "Tucker Carlson Originals" documentary called "The End Of Men." As social media users commented on the unusual trailer, a supposed screenshot of a Fox News chyron was circulated on social media that seemingly featured a quote from Heidi Cruz about how her husband, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, "does not tan his testicles."
This is not a genuine quote from Heidi Cruz, nor is this a genuine chyron that aired on Fox News.
In fact, the image has been digitally altered in more ways than one. In addition to adding a fake chyron, the photo of Heidi Cruz has itself manipulated. The image above was created by altering a photograph of Heidi during Cruz's unsuccessful presidential run in 2016 in an apparent attempt to make Cruz look older.
The genuine photograph was used in several news articles at the time, as it seemingly captured Heidi being momentarily upset after her husband accidentally elbowed her during a group hug:
It's unlikely that the Fox News would use a doctored photo of Cruz's wife during its broadcasts. Furthermore, we have not come across any videos showing this chyron, nor any alternate examples of screen captures of this supposed chyron.
While it's false that Fox News quoted Heidi Cruz in a chyron saying that her husband doesn't tan his testicles, the practice was touted by one of Fox News' hosts, Tucker Carlson. In a segment plugging "The End of Men," Carlson said:
“So obviously half the viewers are now like, ‘What, testicle tanning? That’s crazy ... But my view is, okay, testosterone levels have crashed and nobody says anything about it. That’s crazy. So why is it crazy to seek solutions?”
Bort, Ryan. “Tucker Carlson Has a New Solution for Societal Collapse: Men Tanning Their Balls.” Rolling Stone, 18 Apr. 2022, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/tucker-carlson-end-of-men-testicle-tanning-1338944/.
Mei, Gina. “Ted Cruz Accidentally Elbowed His Wife in the Face After His Concession Speech.” Cosmopolitan, 4 May 2016, https://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a57923/ted-cruz-elbowed-heidi-face/.
Nast, Condé. “Tucker Carlson: Tan Your Balls If You Want To Be A Real Man.” Vanity Fair, 18 Apr. 2022, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/04/tucker-carlson-consider-testicle-tanning-end-of-men.
Vaillancourt, William. “Tucker Carlson and Kid Rock Talk About ‘Testicle Tanning.’” The Daily Beast, 16 Apr. 2022, https://www.thedailybeast.com/tucker-carlson-and-kid-rock-talk-about-testicle-tanning.