I don't get it. Every day from April through October in the US millions of people lay out in the sun with one goal: Get a tan.
And year-round even more people lay in artificial beds of light and try to achieve the same thing.
Why? When did this become the social norm? Did you know that back in the "olden days" having a tan was a serious fashion faux pas? On Caucasian people browned skin meant you had to toil and work outside all day. It meant you were poor and did not have slaves/servants/hired hands to do the dirty work.
But then office work and indoor work became the norm and going outside to get a tan became desirable - it meant you had money because you could waste all day sitting outside doing nothing.
Today, however, we all know the risks with being a beach bunny, a sun-worshipper or a bed-tanner. Cancer.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 32% of white girls between the ages of 14 and 22 used a tanning bed (14 year olds??? Seriously?). 81% of the same age range laid outside to achieve "color."
Indoor tanning can increase a person's risk of getting melanoma by 75%. The rate of girls in this age group is among the fastest of people getting melanoma - the deadliest and scariest of skin cancers. About 48,000 deaths occur annually from melanoma.
So why are we still trying so hard to achieve the darkest skin possible? Last time I checked, bacon was tasty but not too pretty.
I mean seriously... who thinks this looks good??? Obviously not the little boy pictured. This is what years and year of tanning will do to someone.
Isn't she gross? Trim, yes, but her skin is disgusting.
Why would you want to do that to yourself? I just don't see how this is in any way attractive. And yes, I realize I am showing pictures of older ladies, but you know what...
That ain't pretty either. Not pretty at all.
So what about me, personally? I couldn't ever achieve a tan until a year or two ago - I actually had a dermatologist tell me not to be afraid of the sun, that some was okay in small amounts with proper protection (hat, sunscreen, etc). It does provide vitamins to the body.
I do have a slight tan this year. it fades quickly and I always wear SPF 50 or 70 (I keep 50 in the car in case I forget it, but I try to keep with 70). My children wear 70.
I don't want a stupid decision I make for the sake of vanity to give me cancer that could possibly kill me. I know people out there know this, but I wonder how many will actually take note and STOP purposefully tanning and ruining their skin and possibly even their future.
For more info on tanning and skin cancer: