Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How Tan is Too Tan?

Ok. Tanning beds. I kind of get it--it's cloudy out, you want a little UV light to cheer you up and darken your skin a bit because you think that makes you prettier.
But the people that make this part of their daily schedule, whether it is sunny outside or not, that obsessively think they are "not tan enough" are the ones really making use of tanning beds. I should say abuse, rather than use, because it has gotten out of control. You can recognize these people 30 feet away--the ones that are so dark you mistake their race.

They are actually passing a law here in Utah (it goes into effect next week) that you must be 18 or older to be using a tanning bed. If you are under 18, you need a signed permission slip/doctor's note.
Doesn't the fact that this even had to be created make you queasy?

I've been hearing about/seeing a lot of overtanning lately.
But this takes the cake:

A New Jersey mother was arrested today after taking her 5 YEAR OLD into the tanning booth with her. The little girl was burned.
According to the mom, she views her tanning as an errand and must take her daughter into the tanning room with her, but her daughter was never exposed to the rays coming out of the tanning bed (I think this is some bullshit. Even when closed UV rays come out of these things, and if her daughter was standing near it....).
She and the father say that the daughter was sunburned playing outside. Coincidence?
The reason the police got involved is because the 5 year old was at school the day after the incident, telling her friends how she went "tanning with mommy."
The judge will sort it out when she goes to court.
Either way, WTF?

You may be wondering what a person like this looks like.
Well I will show you.
BBBBBBAAAAH! The horror, the horror.
Here we have Exhibit A: a tan obsessed orange goblin-type specimen. THIS IS TOO TAN. Leatherface.
   What will she look like in 30 years? A walking melanoma?

Now for the fascinating scientific side of tanning-------
research shows that the effects of frequent tanning on the brain mimic that of DRUG ADDICTION!

The parts of your cerebral cortex that are stimulated by the intense UV rays associate tanning as a reward, and similar to the type of reaction the brain undergoes when you consume drugs or intense amounts of food or sugar.

In fact, they even did a comparison study where they radiosotope into subjects' brains to monitor brain activity during tanning. During tanning in a regular bed, the parts of the brain associated with addiction lit up, and afterward the subjects expressed a desire to tan more.

Unbeknownst to the subjects, in the next study they tanned in beds that used a non-UV light, and their brains did not light up in the same places (associated with addiction). After this tanning session, without UV light, the subjects expressed less desire to continue tanning.

Another recent study links tanning addiction with anxiety and alcohol/drug abuse.

So there you have it! Tanorexics are more likely to be snorting coke or hitting the bottle too hard, or, in their desperation to get their tan fix, expose their kids to these harmful rays.
And even if the kid is perfectly safe sitting next to a running tanning machine, what kind of example are you setting??? Certainly not anything regarding "inner beauty," that's for damn sure.

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