I am pale. White, pasty, corpse-like, albino, pallid- that’s me. It wasn’t always me, mind you. See, once upon a time I sought solitude and relaxation in the warm bluish-white glow of the tanning bed. Those of you who tan, you know what I’m talking about. You get out of class completely drained (because the Sudoku was really tough today) and head to your car. Maybe it’s raining, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s the middle of December, or maybe Spring Break is a week away. It doesn’t matter. The light at the end of your tunnel is florescent and comes with the scent of coconut oil.
I’ve been there. Chasing happiness through monthly memberships and bonus lotion deals, fighting hangovers as you listen to the best of the 80s, 90s, and today, as you fake-bake your way to sun kissed bliss. You know tanning is bad for you (the warnings are everywhere), but you don’t care. You don’t do it that much. You won’t get cancer. And you look so much better tan!
So you keep on keepin’ on.
Well, what if I showed you what tanning does to those precious looks to hold so dearly? Would that change your mind? Looks like it.
A new study out of East Tennessee State University found that women (and men – I’m lookin’ at you, Jersey Shore cast) are more apt to listen to warnings that tanning will deteriorate their looks than the boring ol’ cancer threats. While both statements are true – you’re basically asking for skin cancer when you tan, and yeah, those intense, concentrated rays cause wrinkles, sunspots, and leathery handbag hands – the latter is taken far more seriously by habitual tanners. So much so that those who had seen their futures (which happen to look eerily similar to Donatella Versace and George Hamilton) changed their tanning practices dramatically.
Makes sense, I guess. Wrinkles are far scarier than cancer, right? [Note: that was sarcasm]
This is a monumental discovery and could prevent millions of people from the harmful effects of tanning. Even more, just knowing the importance people place on their looks, these findings could save people from other less-than-healthy habits. Unprotected sex? Stop teaching abstinence and just show those people what a pregnant belly looks like. And binge drinking? Scary stats and facts won’t work; just show them what they look like when they’re tearing up the dance floor, 3 sheets to the wind.
Seriously, this study can change the world.