With the bombardment of the media, tv, magazines, and doctors warning you about the dangers of tanning, I can’t imagine anyone doesn’t know that tanning is bad for you. And I don’t think anyone is silly enough to believe that tanning beds are “safe.” As a teenager, I knew tanning wasn’t good, but I figured there would be a cure for wrinkles by the time I hit my 30s, so I didn’t really care. And I thought I was immune to cancer since I tanned so easily. Oops. Now, of course, I know better. When I was a kid, I was DARK. When I would travel from my home in Hawaii to visit relatives in Minnesota, they would marvel at how tan I was, and I felt proud at how well I could out-tan everyone, without really even trying.
Now I stay out of the sun as much as possible, wear sunscreen on my face, neck, and hands at all times, and if I do go to the pool or beach, I try to avoid peak hours (10am-4pm) and I wear a hat, giant sunglasses, and even more sunscreen. I don’t want to deprive myself completely of having fun outside, but I try to stay out of the sun as much as possible. I spent ages 2-17 baking in the sun year-round, and I would spend all summer at the beach when I’d go home to Hawaii for school breaks. That’s a lot of sun damage! My dad has had skin cancer from his years in the sun (and he tans just as easily as I do), so cancer is definitely in my family history. If you do have any suspicious moles, make sure to get them checked out asap at the Dermatologist. Now I’m trying to make up for all my years of being tan-obsessed.
Since I am somewhat vain and want to look good and young, that’s why I love it when other people tan! They’re only making me look better by prematurely aging their skin, making me look younger in comparison. I don’t feel bad for tanners because they obviously know it’s bad, and they are choosing to act recklessly. It seems crazy to me, but then I think about smokers and heavy drinkers and gamblers, and I guess everyone has their vices. Mine is shopping. Well maybe I should feel bad for tanners, now that Tanorexia has been introduced as a real medical problem. Regular tanning is said to give you a high by producing endorphins. Funny, when I used to spend a whole day in the sun, I’d feel depressed instead, but too much sun in one day can do that to you.
It’s hard to believe there’s a new reality show that glorifies tanning – “Sunset Tan”, but again, it’s great for me, since those hot 20somethings on the show will look like crap in 10 years, making me look better in comparison. Don’t get me wrong – the show is fun to watch, and Sunset Tan does their share of airbrush tanning and Mystic tanning, but they still have regular tanning beds as well. And shows like “Rock Of Love” show you first-hand the nasty effects of tanning – 30somethings that look hard and much older than their age. Even celebs obsessed with their looks still tan, which somehow surprises me: Victoria Beckham was tanning on her Coming To America tv show and you see celebs tanning in all the magazines. Of course, some people will tan all their lives and still look fabulous and avoid skin cancer, but most people aren’t that lucky. Finally, a “sin” tan tax has recently been put into law!