As spring is approaching, many women want to have a healthy glow to their complexion that makes them feel more desirable in their bikini or summer dresses. Often times we don’t consider the consequences of skin cancer because we feel invincible. When I was in my early adolescence, we had a tanning bed in our basement and I would lay in it all the time. My friends would come over and they would use it from time to time as well (this became all too popular in the months leading to prom). Since high school, I haven’t tanned because it’s not healthy and it’s also done visible damage to my skin (numerous freckles on my arms.) At the time, I was too young to consider the risks of high exposure from tanning beds so now I appreciate a little bronze from natural sunlight.
Lately, indoor tanning is becoming a serious issue that lawmakers are trying to protect minors from. The bill will require consent from a parent for a minor to use a tanning bed. The American Cancer Society is in favor of a bill that many states are implementing due to the fact that teens and young adults are at a 75 percent higher risk of developing melanoma from just one indoor tanning session a month than teens who don’t use tanning beds. California is the only state that bans the use of tanning beds by all minors (not to mention, The Jersey Shore isn’t promoting natural beauty). Due to the constant pressures of the media, young adults have the mindset that they need to conform rather than form their own opinion about what looks good. I constantly see girls walking around campus that look orange rather than shooting for a more healthy skin tone. Although most students that attend WVU are above the age requirement of the bill, many will continue tanning and ignore the risks. Housing communities in Morgantown aren’t supporting the bill by supplying tanning beds for residents to use (weights rooms and tanning beds are viewed as an amenity to our stay). In reality, it’s actually encouraging young people to engage in health risks.
This bill should be a wake up call that our health is more important than our overall appearances. Of course, it isn’t expected for tanning companies to be in favor of this because it will dramatically affect their business. Unfortunately, this bill may temporarily stop teens from utilizing indoor tanning but they can easily start again when they’re of age. As an alternative, there are plenty of skin enhancement products to choose from, not to mention bronzing powder and it has the same effect without damaging your skin. I’d much rather be young and pale than old and leathery.