Tanning is overly popular these days, from young girls to old women. I have seen grandmothers going to tanning salons before, as well as young girls, probably close to 10 years old, which to me is ridiculous and irresponsible parenting.
Before I sound too preachy and judgmental, I’ll go ahead and add that, yes, I have tanned in a tanning bed before…but I can count the number of times on 2 hands, and I haven’t been since 2007. I know that the last 6 years won’t negate the damage I did those 5+ times I laid in a bed and “tanned” but at least I was smart enough to quit. So many people say they go because it makes them feel good about themselves or so they can be tan and hot, but you can achieve the tan through a self-tanner (some of them do work!) and you can always get a tan naturally from the sun (but use sunscreen! and reapply!). If you’ve been tanning, have you noticed how the room and more importantly your SKIN has the scent of burnt flesh? If you’re using sunscreen and careful, that doesn’t happen when you’re tanning naturally by being out in the sun (at least in my 28 years it never has, but it happened every.single.time. I was in a tanning bed).
I read recently that tanning beds are so bad for you they’re right up there with cigarettes. Of course when I posted this on Facebook (along with the fact that just one time in a tanning bed ups your lifetime change of getting melanoma by 20% – whoa!), a friend felt the need to point out I did both. She’s also convinced I quit smoking for Kalen’s sake. The reason I quit smoking was because it was no longer something I could afford, and also because I wanted to be healthier. I quit prior to even meeting Kalen too, so how he’s the reason I’ll never know. Some people prefer to believe what they want, so I let them. And yes, I did do both, but as I said earlier, I was smart enough to quit. Of course this post sparked a debate (because, on my page at least, my personal opinion is frowned upon and I will have people verbally attack me when I share it), and really irritated me. Why is it so bad to be concerned about skin cancer and wanting to do all that I can to prevent it? Why is it so bad to wonder why so many people don’t care and even knowing the risks, continue to tan? I don’t think tanning beds are smart, or that they should be allowed, but if you use them, that’s your choice. I realize I might sound judgmental, but I’m honestly not. I’m just curious why people do it.
I’ve decided that this summer, I’m going to rock the pale skin. If I tan naturally from the sunlight, awesome. If I don’t, no worries. I’m going to keep coating on the sunscreen (I wear it year round, especially on my face in colder months) and being careful about it. If someone wants to laugh at me for having white legs, they can. I’m happy to be pale and to be keeping my skin as healthy as I am able.
What are your thoughts on tanning beds?