For as long as I can remember we’ve been given images of what a perfect and beautiful body should look like. A body that is tanned and sun-kissed has been portrayed as being that of a healthy and beautiful one, but is that true?
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and nearly one in five Americans will develop some sort of skin cancer in their lifetime. California has already banned tanning for teens under 14 and they are now trying to ban tanning for anyone under 18. Like any law, this has people divided. Some say that tanning should be banned for those 18 and under, and even in general. While others are claiming this type of law is too intrusive in our personal rights and that it will greatly affect small businesses.
No matter which side of the argument you agree with, you simply can’t ignore the facts. Indoor tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. They are also 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. None of these diagnoses sound beautiful to me.
Instead of trying to live up to the idea of what a beautiful body should look like, we should embrace the body that we are given. No matter what our skin tone. Skin cancer is just as likely to occur in the natural sun too, so make sure that you slather on the SPF before heading outdoors! Nothing is more beautiful than being confident, happy, and healthy in our own skin.
What do you think? Should the government have a hand in banning tanning for teens? Do you or have you used a tanning bed? I would love to hear what you think about this proposed ban, tanning beds, and your thoughts and feelings on body image. Feel free to leave any comments or links!
[Tanning bed image by aspecticide via Flickr Creative Commons]