18 9 / 2011
It’s that time of the year again, that time when every trace of color drains out of my pathetically white, Swedish skin. That time of the year when I forget to wear sunscreen to the football game because hey, it’s mid-September, 70 degrees, and I’m wearing a cardigan, how could I ever get burnt?
Well, I can. And I did. I got fried, to be exact. I even have a line where you can see where my cross-chest purse strap was hanging out on my shoulder. #embarrassing
As I upload my pictures from this weekend, I find myself clicking the “boost color” effect on almost every single one. Sad…. very sad. The tanning beds at Omni are calling my name. Just a little fake ‘n’ bake? How bad could that really be?
But, as I do every year, I find myself thinking back to the wasted time and money I spent on tanning beds in high school. I was frying my skin just to reach what I considered “tan,” which was really just every other normal person’s “pale.”
And when my dad found two melanomas on his skin last year, I decided that was really it for me. I got my skin color 100% from him. My hair color 100% from him. And I’m not about to gamble any more with my health in that arena. I am pale and I try to work it.
My confidence does go down a little bit around September/October when it’s still hot enough to wear pale skin-exposing shorts and tank tops, but my days are all spent inside, the only tan I’m getting from fluorescents. But all I have to do is think about my dad and think about the really frightening statistics about skin cancer and tanning beds.
A review done by the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that tanning beds increase the risk of deadly melanoma skin cancer by 75 percent for people who begin using them before age 30.
While may damage may already be done, I’ve promised myself that I will never set foot in one again. I try to convince my tanning-bed-going friends to kick the habit, but I know it’s hard. A tan always makes you feel better about yourself!
But like I always say, if I was born in the middle ages, my pale skin would have been royalty material!! While I may not fit in with the Jersey Shore now, I think I’ll be better off down the road. Like a saying I found on Twitter recently says, “Gym. Tan. Melanoma.”
I’m off to put some more aloe on my sunburn and will try and remember next weekend to put on some SPF before heading to Sanford Stadium. I’m not perfect by any means, but am trying my darndest to keep my skin wrinkle- and melanoma-free by staying far, far away from tanning beds.