Debunking the tan myth

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I’ve written many times about the dangers of tanning, so I’ve probably done it to death.  Many readers probably don’t care too much about the dangers that may not manifest for many years.  But, it was reported today that the recession will push more people into tanning salons.  This is because they cannot afford to holiday in warm climates, where they can lay out in the sun.

I’m not going to pick on tanning salons, because I believe tanning is bad, regardless of method.  I don’t know what problem people have with the “fake tans”.  Allergic reactions are uncommon, though it does exist.  Yet, it seems the easiest and safest method for those addicted to having a tan.  So, why bother with the tanning salons or the sun and dangerous rays?

Now, sunlight is important, especially for Vitamin D.  However, you can get vitamin D even if you apply sunscreen.  And you should use sunscreen to protect against harmful rays when you plan to be out in the sun for a long time.  But, sunbathers will not do so because they fear it will prevent them from tanning.  That is not necessarily the case.  Believe me on that point.  Sunscreen does not prevent you from tanning.

There is this misconception that a tan look is “healthy”.  This is because it is associated with being outdoors and invalids are not well-known for being out of doors.  No one wants to appear sickly pale, but there are many people unfortunate enough to be quite fair-skinned.  These people are the ones most in danger of getting skin damage from tanning.  They are the most likely to burn, even with the use of sunscreens.[ad#ad-1]

A good proportion of people feel that a tan makes them look healthier.  The emphasis is on looks, not on actuality.  It does not make them feel healthier, nor are they in fact healthier, but many feel it makes them feel more attractive.  Let’s step back a bit.  Do people in general find Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks more attractive than Whites?  Is that why all the Caucasians try to pass themselves off as of a different race?  I find it funny then that amongst the Blacks, they like the light-skinned ones.

Never mind that tanning damages your skin, so that in the long run, you will have less healthy skin.  Let’s just look at the way that leathery skin clings on you.  Do you find that attractive?  I wish I could find and paste some images of women with that ugly leathery skin from too much sunbathing or tanning salons.  What about those with the tell-tale red-brown look that suggests they just came out of the salon?  You call that attractive?  Premature aging attractive?

I understand the need to be attractive.  I have ugly, wrinkly hands and feet.  This is due to dry skin and exposure to wind, heat, water, etc.  I tend to forget to apply lotions.  But I get very embarrassed to show my wrinkly, peeling skin.  I would definitely not tan and make it worse.  Tanning does not make a person more attractive!  In fact, it can make them much less attractive.

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