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Tanning Crisis Essay

1811 words - 7 pages

Every day millions of women and men interrupt their daily lives and visit tanning beds in order to achieve new levels of darkness. The darkness of this practice goes further than merely skin deep when the risks of tanning are considered. Indoor tanning is a fad that has heavily caught on in recent years. Indoor tanning has made it possible for anyone to catch those rejuvenating rays without having to be on the beach during their once a year vacation. It is easy to start and to continue to tan because it is fast and feels great. However, there are stronger and more negatives to the habit of tanning than there are positives. Research of the negative effects of tanning are widely known and accepted, but this knowledge has not hindered the rate at which tanning occurs. How bronze one is equates with how beautiful that individual is perceived to be. Our nation’s distorted ideals of beauty are a driving force towards the success rate of the tanning industry. Why should an individual go to such lengths to damage themselves for superficial beauty? It is a combination of people conforming to what society expects and an addiction that is created once the practice is started. Research shows that tanning is a cultural pandemic that is strongly linked to melanoma skin cancer, and can cause radical damage to the appearance of skin.
Men and women tan not only because they think it improves their appearance, but because tanning can quickly form into an addiction. Like any addiction, tanning easily takes a turn from an occasional visit to the salon to an everyday desire. This addiction and desire is easily fed because tanning salons are open year-round and are found in almost every city. Not to mention, people of almost any age are able to get tans with a guardian’s permission. Even with growing awareness of the negative aspects of tanning, it is still one of the largest and fastest growing industries in America.
Society is a factor in the choice for many to tan indoors. According to a survey conducted, “in 2007, 81% of respondents held the belief that people looked better with a tan” (Chung). More than two-thirds of the population has the distorted view that being of a darker complexion will somehow improve their overall appearance. Of course everyone has at least a small desire to fit in and become as beautiful as possible. It is discouraging that social and self-conscious attitudes are those that drive people to participate in this activity in the first place. What is even more discouraging, though, is that these simple reasons are ones that outweigh the dangerous aspects of over exposure to this radiation. Tanning has become too easy of an escape for people who perhaps just need ten to twenty minutes of alone time during their day. A quarter of an hour in a tanning bed is equivalent to a whole day in the sun because the ultraviolent rays are so concentrated. Vitamin D in large doses gives the human body a natural and pleasant high, which causes the...

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