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Why People Tan Essay

1266 words - 5 pages

I love my job. That's a bizarre statement that very few people have the opportunity to admit. Working at a tanning salon is like a vacation. Everyone's casual and happy, even the other employees. It's a relaxing environment. And why shouldn't it be? People come in to enjoy a twenty-minute escape to a tropical beach with white sand and the sound of the soft waves hitting the shore. A quick trip to paradise amongst a hectic day. Many female customers have told me that it is their 'time-out'; their distraction from their work, kids, and husband. But one day last summer, one customer revealed to me more much more than that. In the middle of a conversation, she nonchalantly tossed in the fact that she had skin cancer. Yet, she still tanned a few times a week. I never asked why she continued to tan. I didn't feel it was my business. But it got me wondering. While there are benefits to tanning, they aren't as ferociously reported as the risks. It is clearly stated in the media that exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer. So with all the controversy and evidence against, why do people continue to use indoor tanning salons? I found the bulk of my answer published on the Medical News Today website in an article titled "Research Study Profiles Indoor Tanners". At first, I was a little skeptical of the article. It was based on a survey conducted and commissioned by Michael Stepp, a UV light researcher. However, he is also a CEO of Wolff System Technology, which is the world's leading manufacturer of bulbs for indoor tanning beds (Toor). I feared that the articles might be biased. But my tension ceased when I looked into the creditability of the website. Medical News Today declares that they provide "the latest medical news headlines from the world of medicine and healthcare for both healthcare professionals and the general public" (Medical News Today). Furthermore, to validate all findings in the study to ensure accuracy, other experts in field, including senior executives of tanning equipment manufacturers and tanning salon chains were consulted (Toor). The study was conducted to help the tanning industry understand its customer and provide optimum service. 300 men and women, who use indoor tanning beds, were randomly drawn. Of this sample, 61% said they frequently tan indoors and 30% said they do fairly often. To help analyze the data, this 2004 study was compared to another survey from 1996. And indeed there had been a change between those eight years.In 1996, almost all indoor tanners were females. Now nearly 30% of customers at Canadian tanning salons are male. One salon added that men account for 40% of their revenue. This suggests that men, while still the minority, are also beginning to use tanning salons more frequently than women. Why have men suddenly decided to start tanning? Greg Henson, president of Heartland Tanning, supplied the answer. "...tanning salons have become more professional in structure, and most have...

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