Reasons why I don’t tan.
Most of you are probably looking at my posts thinking “Well, maybe you should tan”, in which I would promptly respond, “Yes, you are quite right”. As summer approaches and the ads for self tanners on TV are oh so prominent and the very drastic skin color changes on your fellow girl are even prominent, thoughts begin to swim around my head. For years I have toyed with the idea of tanning, and questioned myself every single summer if I should become serious about it. Comments about white legs, and looking pale in pictures were all I heard from my friends, in which I gazed at my legs knowing that they were even more pale. As I continued to wrestle with the question “To tan or not to tan?”, I began to realize some very important things.
Though I do not judge others that tan in a tanning bed, or go around preaching about how it isn’t right, I do feel very strongly against that activity for myself. The reasons being the very obvious fact that I am very fair skinned with many freckles, Because I have freckles I am put at a higher risk for skin cancer and other scary side effects if I am out in the sun for too long. I have always had to be very conscious about using sun screen, even if I am only out in the sun for a few hours. I have to baby my skin and take really great care of it especially during the summer.
Because of these things I learned quickly that exposing my skin to harsh UV lights could make my skin not only wrinkle/age very quickly, but also cause skin cancer within years.
I was recently on the phone with a tanning salon, booking the appointment to go tanning when I decided to google the “side effects of tanning”. This was all I needed to do to change my mind and take a step away from the phone. To be honest, it scared me a lot and made me really question all of the other things I DO expose my skin to. Of course, I am not going to sit here and spout off multiple percentages of your sudden doom. I merely am here to explain that there are just as many reasons NOT to tan as there is TO tan.
I get a lot of comments about my skin, about how I am super pale, and pretty much blend in with white walls. These are all things I have become accustomed to and even find funny. I have learned that there is absolutely nothing wrong with rocking the skin color you were born with! Our society has unfortunately altered our vision of beauty into thinking that tan skin, or many other things, are the only way to feel socially accepted. Of course, there are many women with the most gorgeous, luscious, skin around, Because that is THEIR beauty, but not necessarily mine. We are all created with different hues of eyes, hair, and skin, one not being more beautiful than the other. I had to learn to laugh through the sarcastic comments, channel my inner Snow White, and remember that tan skin isn’t for me, because that is just the way it is.
If you are sitting on the other end of this screen reading this thinking that there is just NO WAY you can go a whole summer without tanning, that’s okay! All I have to say is go outside, get great sunscreen and tan under the sun. That way is definitely healthier.
It will keep you wrinkle free for a lot longer, give you an excuse to head to the beach for the day and read blogs about white, pale girls like me. So, whatever skin color you are, whether you choose to tan or not, be healthy and know that you will have to put up with your skin your whole life, so take care of it!
P.S. if you ever try to spray-tan, invite me, I’ve always wanted to do that.