The tanning bed wont get rid of your winter blues


Well it's here. There is snow on the ground and it is officially winter in Happy Valley. Now more than any other time during the year though we see tons of student flocking to the nearest tanning beds to maintain their summer glow into the cold gloomy winter months that approach. Tanning (moderately) outside during the summer is one thing but it has become common knowledge that stepping into a tanning bed is a whole new ballpark.


 In an article, found here, many studies are talked about that all focus on just how bad indoor tanning is for people. For example, n a study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed just how many people actually use tanning beds, booths, or sun lamps.  5000 people between the ages of 18 and 29 were studied and 6% of them said that they had been tanning indoors in the past year. About a third of the 6% were white women aged 18-21, and another 6% were white women between the ages of 22 and 25. On average it was found that women in their 20's went tanning indoors more than 20 times in the previous year and as much as 13% of women with a family history of skin cancer had reported to still go indoor tanning. The article also touches on another study that found that the risk of melanoma rose 75% in people who started tanning indoors before the age of 30. This study was so conclusive that it based the World Health Organization's decision to classify tanning devices as carcinogenic in 2009. 

This article just continues to prove the point we are all being told over and over again, indoor tanning isn't worth the risk. Something about the studies in this article that really took me by surprise were the ages of the people with the highest risk of getting cancer. The article really talks about how the majority of those going tanning indoors are those in OUR age group and by going to the tanning beds that young they are increasing their chances of cancer by 75%! By referencing analyses and findings from different studies and showing that all the studies came to the same conclusion the author really erased any doubt that any of these studies could be wrong with their findings. 


I think that I would compare this to cigarette smokers. We all know that they are terrible for you and will decrease your lifespan by at least 10 years. As Pete Campbell said it on the episode of Mad Men, people have an inner drive to die and to live fast, regardless of the circumstances. Lets just think about one of the most recent word trends. YOLO literally means "you only live once" and suggests that people should live fast, and die young. As the Huffington Post points out, more teenagers are smoking cigarettes that are pure vapor, or E-cigs. I compare these e-cigs to the people that tan in tanning beds for a shorter amount of time than normally and think that they are being safe because of it. Bottom line, people want to look pretty, no matter what, even if it means your life will be shortened. What if that is the new mentality for our generation? How will we fare?


It's so odd to me that people seek tanning beds to cure the winter blues. I know the winter has a large effect on my mood,and I know tanning doesn't help. Treatment of seasonal depression requires exposure to bright light- through the eyes, not the skin (tanning beds give off an entirely different type of light).In fact, the UV light of tanning beds harms eyes. "Duration, intensity and wavelength are the keys to light being an effective treatment for SAD," said Michael Young, a psychology professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, who researches depression and seasonal mood disorders.So while ineffective at curing the winter blues, tanning beds are also dangerous.

I have always found it amazing that so many people continue to go to tanning booths after it has been proven to be harmful. Is the risk of being 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma which kills an estimated 8,790 people in the United States annually worth the risk? This website gives more information about the danger of Melanoma

While I personally wouldn't and don't attend tanning booths, I don't really think it's ridiculous that people do. Society's pressure on women to be beautiful 100% of the time is a crippling weight to some people, which leads to these harmful businesses staying in the black. Everyone wants to look cool, everyone wants to feel cool, and for some people, those things come with a price they're willing to pay. Many people know the risks, and they still choose to go through with the tans. Nothing can fund a company like the good old patriarchy.

Leave a comment

Subscribe to receive notifications of follow up comments via email.
We are processing your request. If you don't see any confirmation within 30 seconds, please reload your page.

Search This Blog

Full Text  Tag

Recent Entries

My name is __ and I am an Addict
No matter how old I get I cannot stop the habit of biting my fingernails. I have tried everything…
Step one: snap an awesome pic! Step two: pick out a flattering filter. Step three: Post it on the…
Stop Smiling Guys and We'll Start Wanting You
A recent study by the University of British Columbia claims that women find happy guys less sexually attractive than brooding…

Old Contributions