A common controversy in the society today is between people who use tanning beds and those who do not. It is said that tanning beds are bad for the skin and can cause skin cancer, but others argue that the sun gives off just as much harmful rays. I found it fascinating to do some research and look deeper into this topic to see who was actually correct and if tanning beds are actually a major problem compared to being in the natural sunlight too long.

This link TANNING states that any exposure to ultraviolet radiation of any kind can be harmful to the skin cells. Any form of UV radiation also leads to premature skin aging as well as cancer. People who tan too much tend to be wrinkled, have brown spots, and much more. Some more interesting facts about cancer were found here Cancer. This site named two facts that stood out the most to me about skin cancer:

  1. The number of skin cancer cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking.
  2. In the United States alone, 419,254 cases of skin cancer can be attributed to indoor tanning. Out of this number, 6,199 are melanoma cases.



The fascinating question is, if there are so many harmful risks involved with tanning, why do people still insist on tanning? It is possible that because our society values materialistic items and portrays beauty a certain way, that people feel it is necessary that they tan to remain “beautiful.” It is sad to see the world we live in forget about the important things like the environment, politics, life, and more because we are so consumed in how we look and what others think of us. In a world where the amount of followers you have and likes you get on a picture determine your popularity; it is easy to see why the important things in life get thrown to the back of the mind. The irony behind all of this is that as we think we are making ourselves look better and feel more accepted by society, but in actuality we are setting ourselves up to look worse in the future. If the tanning becomes extreme we will then be wrinkly and covered in spots that could potentially be cancerous. All of the sudden the beauty behind it all becomes the beast. It is important as a society to not forget that the small things in life truly matter the most because in the end it is about who you were on the inside and how you impacted the world.

The chemical make ups of our bodies are not there to be messed with. We are made the way we are for a reason and should realize that we are beautiful no matter what our skin color is. We were given certain levels of everything in order to survive, but in this world where bigger is better, we sometimes tend to take things to the extreme. If we are not careful, tanning will soon be one of those things that is taken just a bit too far.

With all of that being said so many more questions arise:

  1. Will humanity destroy itself?
  2. Will vanity cause eventual depression and mental health issues?
  3. Are we so consumed with technological advancements that the technology will soon control us completely?




Photo: http://www.myhousecallmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/tanning.jpg





4 thoughts on “Is Tan Really Beautiful?

  1. Abigail Reese

    Your title really grabbed my attention! This has always been a question I wish were easier to answer. Like most people, I love the way being tan looks but all the research I’ve read only convinces me how bad it is for you. Who doesn’t love laying out and feeling the sun on your skin? It’s a hard decision. In high school, I tanned for prom and tried to make it as safe as possible by wearing a low SPF in the tanning bed which I hoped would help. I believe vanity already causes depression and mental issues because I know that when I see someone really tan walking around campus I become very envious of their even color. I had no idea that there are more cases of cancer due to tanning than smoking! Thanks for including that. As I’m entering my twenties, I think I’ll start to stay out of the sun more because I really don’t want wrinkles

  2. ajh6183

    I really enjoyed this post because I agree that although us tanners know of the horrible effects, we still continue on with the bad habit, as if we don’t know. I think this is for a few reasons. One, because tanners don’t think it’ll happen to them, they think, oh I’ve gone this long without it happening, so I should be good for the next time and the time after that. Two, I think that tanners just don’t care in the moment, they care more about their appearance now than what their appearance will end being in the long run. Three, people who tan in beds prefer it over a spray tan because they think it looks more natural than a spray tan, and also because its easier to maintain than a fake spray tan. Four, tanning can be highly addicting. It relieves stress, acts as an escape, and makes people feel better about themselves. Five, they don’t think its that harmful as long as its a legal thing to do. Overall, I do agree that it has a lot to do with our perception of society and what society thinks. Society has a great influence on many of the things people decide to do in their lives.

  3. jgb5274

    I really liked this post because I always wondered the same thing. Why would people continue to tan if they knew it was bad for them (including myself). I have never actually tanned in a bed just in a sun and some spray tans but its interesting to see the risks and how people do it anyway. I found this link all about spray tans and skin tricks, which are much healthier for the skin rather than a bed or the sun. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/spray-tanning/slide/2

  4. Gulianna E Garry

    I found this an extremely interesting blog post! Growing up on the jersey shore it is common to just want to get the perfect tan or forget to put your sunscreen on, which is obviously really bad according to your post. But why is our society so obsessed with being tan? During the medieval times, to be tan was shunned upon because it suggested you were poor and had to work in the fields all day. Isn’t it weird that our society’s preference of the ‘perfect look’ changes over the years.

Leave a Reply