The Dark Side Of Tanning

In Colorful You!, Fashion & Beauty by Starr Vaughn

When you think of summer what exactly comes to mind? Icy cold lemonade? Kids out of school creating havoc around town? Swimming pools and the smell of chlorine?

Or are you like me, and think of tanning?

I purposely go out in the back yard hardly wearing anything at all and deliberately lay out in the sun. Or if I am in a hurry to get a tan, I go to my local tanning salon which has a coffin-like bed gleaming with light bulbs as powerful as the sun itself and lay in there about 15 minutes. The light bulbs in those tanning beds are 2-3 times more powerful than the sun itself.

Why are earth would people do this to themselves? Especially when it is widely known that incidents of skin cancer are on the rise and I know the statistics?

According to nearly one million people in the United States are being diagnosed with a type of skin cancer each year.

Well, I don’t exactly have a good explanation for why I do what I do, but I will say this I like it, I can do it and I have that choice.

I know that probably isn’t good enough for some but it’s good enough for me. It should be mentioned that this is not an everyday occurrence.

I spend thirty-five dollars, once or twice a year, at a tanning salon and for one month I have a skin color that I feel good in.

Tanning salons are even becoming sort of a political issue. The state of California is considering a law that will ban teenagers from the salons. One article published on the subject, quotes the bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Joe Nation, as saying, “There is a big difference between going to the beach and a tanning salon. When kids go to the beach they put on sun screen.”

Tanning salons are a multi-billion dollar industry where by the hundreds of thousands of people go to get more color. In California alone, there are an estimated 1500 different tanning salons. Tanning is becoming so popular that home tanning machines are available for as little as
five-hundred dollars.

But before I go on, I just want people to know that I am no way shape or form “addicted” to tanning, like some are. There is no way I would go to the tanning salon 12 months out of the year, that would be too excessive and a cause for concern.

But at summertime when everyone has that
JLO bronzed look, then I can’t help but say,”Dang, I want a little tan too.” I like the way my skin looks and I like the way I feel. My scars aren’t as prominent, and I just feel like a tiny bronzed-goddess.

Now you are probably thinking, “Why don’t you just get a bottle of sunless tanning lotion?”

The only answer to that is, I just don’t like them. In fact, I despise the way it makes my skin look blotchy, orange and so “fake.” Besides, bronzers only last three days tops, and you have to constantly reapply it every day to keep the look “natural.” That’s just too much of a hassle for me. But if you like them and enjoy the way it makes you look, then more power to you.

Some of the researchers are just down right overreacting about the sun.

Come on people, who goes to the beach with all a huge hat, a long-sleeved clothing and about ten bottles of sunscreen. Ten bottles of sunscreen you ask? By the “recommended” application which you have to apply every twenty minutes, then you will need about a dozen or so bottles to spend the day at the beach. People just want to have fun at the beach in the sun that has been here since the day this earth was formed.

So researchers should get over it and relax.

If someone wants a quick dose of color, then I don’t see anything wrong with going to the tanning salon in moderation.
It‘s your life and it’s your choice, so if you want to spend time in the sun with a cup of lemonade or spend about ten minutes in a tanning bed, then dangit that’s what you should do!

Editor’s Note: Audacity Magazine understands the dangers of tanning and sunbathing. This article is only one representation of someone’s outlook on the process. You may voice your opinion on the Online Forum or send an email to