Fashion needs risk takers. If somebody hadn’t dared to wear the first bikini we’d all still be treading the proverbial waters in our woolen swimsuits.
The trouble is some fashions have serious consequences. And we don’t just mean photographic evidence of that micro mini fiasco coming back to haunt you on Facebook. We’re talking permanent damage. We’re talking suntans.
Getting a suntan is like getting a tattoo that doesn’t appear for 20 years, and when it does, it’s really, really ugly.
That’s why some 20 states have legislation pending, according to DermaNetwork.org, to restrict minors from partaking in the artificial shake-and-bakes. Most sun damage is done before the age of 18. Tanning beds provide about three times more damaging UVA rays than the sun. The use of tanning beds before age 18 significantly increases the risk of malignant melanoma.
This isn’t rocket science. It’s not even bottle rocket science.
Studies by the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention, warnings from the American Academy of Dermatology and articles in journals such as Pediatrics and Photochemistry and Photobiology suggest tanning beds are not a good idea.
In fact, tanning beds are like cigarettes for the skin.
But that cool girl in your English class with the fabulous bronze legs says all you need is a little base tan to prevent injury.
This is a bit like saying “To prevent getting a big cavity, eat a little bit of sugar every day.”
That’s not the way it works, Gumby.
Still, many people loathe their white skin. They look in the mirror and see the wane pale of dough bread, fish bellies and the terminally nerdy. But it’s just a phase. In the 1700s, people longed for lilywhite skin. To get the look they used led-based face powders. Turns out that wasn’t such a good idea either.
Personally, I don’t know why we all just can’t love the skin we’re in.