Monday, June 4, 2007
My grandmother died of skin cancer before I was old enough to remember her. She was absolutely gorgeous. She had smooth milky skin, green eyes, and beautiful curly black hair. She looked like she belonged in a movie with Cary Grant. I see her beauty and I'm inspired to stay out of the tanning salons and wear sunscreen. I wish more people could do the same.
I was once embarrassed by my lack of tan. I wanted bronzed skin that glowed in the sun like so many other girls, so I went to a tanning salon. Though I have a very light skin tone, I can tan quite easily and not burn. The tanning beds combined with the tanning lotion accelerators with triple-bronzing-set-your-skin-on-fire-tingle-action worked beautifully. I acheived a radiant summer glow. The health risks, however, were always somewhere int he back of my mind as I lay in the ironically coffin-shaped tanning bed. My Grandmother died of skin cancer and my sister once had to have a melanoma removed from her arm. I had no business getting a tan.
I had to reevaluate why I was willing to kill myself just to have a tan. It's incredibly foolish when you really think about it. I knew why though. I thought it would clear up my skin, make me look slimmer, younger, and more fit, and it did. Those results, we all know, are temporary. I decided to take the money I was willing to spend on early wrinkles and actually fix my problems. A tanning bed can cost $50 bucks a month or more. I joined a gym. It only costs $30 a month and the benefits are far greater than having a tan. I lost about 15 pounds which was really all I needed to lose, gained more stamina, have healthier looking skin, and I'm even happier.
There are so many ideas of beauty in the world. I think the many colors of the human race make the world more interesting. It would be a shame to spoil that by wanting to all look the same. We should all embrace whatever color or shade we were born with and flaunt it like it's the hottest new trend. That is what I have learned to do. If you need inspiration just look at Rose McGowan, Nicole kidman, Scarlett Johansen, or women of the forties. They don't tan and they are gorgeous.
If you are tanning to look thinner, join a gym instead.
If you tan to get rid of skin problems, birth control pills can help along with a good consistant skin care regimen.
If you tan because of the relaxing effects of UV rays, find other ways to get sunshine without killing yourself. Take a walk early in the morning. Take a drive with the windows down and the music up.
Just use sunscreen. There is no good excuse. Tanning is not worth it. I dare everyone to stay out of the tanning salons this summer. Love the skin you are in.
Caroline, kudos to you. You have really learned to embrace who you are. Keep it up.
Great piece! I was actually watching the Tyra Banks show yesterday
and she did a special episode on beauty across the races. For some reason the "Caucasian representative" mentioned Paris Hilton 3 times as the white standard of beauty, without being so articulate. How sad! She's not only tanorexic but also incarcerated! I wish more people could accept different forms of beauty... kinda like those Dove commercials!
Did you see Oprah last week about the young lady who redid the black doll/white doll experiment? Breaks my heart. I wish those little girls could see these dolls. We all need to embrace the pale, the dark and everything in between.