A History Of Tanning Culture, From Coco Chanel To Snooki

A History of Tanning Culture, From Coco Chanel to Snooki

Summertime. Cue the languid bathers soaking in the blistering summer sun in the park, on the beach and just about everywhere you look. Everyone’s trying to get that summer glow. Unless, of course, you’re me. I’m the girl reapplying her broad spectrum sunscreen and wearing a big floppy sun hat.

I’ve written before about why I don’t tan. Still, though I long ago accepted that my skin would never be described as “sun-kissed” or “bronzed,” the culture of tanning fascinates me. One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lives; skin cancer is now the most common form of cancer in the United States. Incidences of melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers, increased by 800 percent in women and 400 percent in men between 1970 and 2009. Of the seven most common forms of cancer in America, melanoma is the only one whose incidence is increasing, and people who use a tanning bed before the age of 35 increase their risk of melanoma by 87 percent. Tanning has become akin to smoking – people know it puts them at risk for disease, but many just can’t stop. A significant number of those who have reluctantly dragged themselves out of the sun and tanning beds still spray tan. So what gives? Read more on College Candy…

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