If you tan more than once a month you are 55 percent more likely to develop malignant melanoma, a.k.a skin cancer, the most prevalent form of cancer in young adult females, according to Miami University’s Health Advocates for Wellness Knowledge and Skills (HAWKS). Despite these statistics, we all tan or know someone who tans much more than once a month during the spring and summer time. Whether it is due to our disbelief in the consequences or our lack of knowledge on the effects of indoor tanning beds, it might just be time to put away the oil and goggles and start embracing the pale.
The editorial board of The Miami Student knows it isn’t easy being pale at Miami. There is a culture here that is hard to ignore and we picked up on this as soon as we stepped foot on this campus. And because of this culture, people seem to neglect the fact that tanning is unhealthy.
There are many helpful resources on campus to help with an addiction to unhealthy behaviors. Miami has its own advocacy program, HAWKS, which says its mission is to encourage students to be conscious of their health and well-being and to make good lifestyle choices in general.
Without a doubt, the benefits of having that deep tan come at a major cost. Tanning is bad for you in both the long run and the short run. Tanning beds are physically and emotionally damaging to our bodies and the editorial board believes there are plenty of healthier alternatives on the market to help us look our best without harming our bodies.
Spray tans are an option, even though they are pretty pricey. Jergens lotions are always good alternatives and they moisturize at the same time. There are also spray tans you can purchase at most drug stores that have a surprisingly good reputation.
And maybe this is just a trend to be tan. Hopefully trends go back to being your natural color. In fact, in a lot of European countries, men and women think pale is beautiful and try to avoid sun exposure.
In the mean time, it is not as easy to quit tanning as it may seem, and we recognize that. In some extreme cases, men and women can develop what has come to be known across the nation as “tanorexia.” Though not a scientific term, tanning can actually become an addiction. We’ve all seen that woman on the street that has extreme wrinkles and sunspots all over her face and body and we think, “Wow she looks terrible.” But those are indeed the long-term effects of indoor tanning and ignoring the health of our skin. They are real.
We want to encourage men and women to accept their complexion for what it is and to steer away from the Miami mold. Being tan really isn’t all its built up to be. The editorial board believes that having the mindset that we always have to be tan, even in the middle of January, is a deeper issue. It becomes a mind game and somewhat of an addiction.
All in all, there’s a culture at our school and its not good. Girls and guys need to realize that there are other consequences than getting wrinkly when you’re old: like being diagnosed with skin cancer and forming a serious addiction. Just be happy with how you look.