Tan vs. No tan

Posted by Roger Baronat, September 24, 2008, 12:20 pm

Coppertone Ad

Wow, is this ad old or what! That little girl must be a great-grandma by now. How embarrassing! But enough about her plight. The message is clear. Clothing prevents getting a tan.

Strange word, tan. “Darkening of the skin” is more descriptive of what actually occurs after a certain amount of UV (ultraviolet) light lands on your skin. Unless too much lands on it and you get a “burn” instead. But it takes six syllables to get that whole darkening thing out of your mouth while “tan” or “burn” requires only a miserly one. Certainly more efficient. And what if your skin is coal black or you’re an albino? The answer to that is pretty easy. No tan for you – although you can still get the burn. UV does not discriminate. But for those of us who are not coal black or albino, we have to consider whether a tan is a good thing or a bad thing. How do we resolve such a weighty dilemma?

Is it just a matter of aesthetics? Do we feel we look better with darker skin or lighter skin? (But that’s for another post, so let’s not get distracted here. Let’s forget about aesthetics for the moment.) Is there a health benefit - or detriment - to exposure to ultraviolet light? Now, there’s a topic with two clear sides to it.

On the one side, there are those who would have us believe UV light is very dangerous. They are represented by sites such as www.SkinCancer.org which take a dim view of sunlight. [Don't you just love it when a word fits in like that?]

And on the other side, there are those who would have us believe UV light is beneficial to the point of curing and/or preventing certain diseases including various forms of cancer. They are represented by sites such as www.VitaminDCouncil.org which take a brighter view of sunlight. [Two in a row!]

How are we to decide between the two? Who (or Whom) can we trust? [Shades of Johnny, that one.] Aye, there’s the rub. [And Willie.] And speaking of rubbing, make sure you rub in that sunscreen. Oops, that too has to wait for another post – on whether or not sunscreens themselves cause cancer. Let’s stick to the topic. Is tanning a good thing or not?



Thoughts (1)

  1. On August 25th, 2011 at 3:33 pm, Sunscreen vs. No Sunscreen | izbedda.com said...

    [...] this. Just take a look at what I posted back three years ago (talk about time to think about it), Tan vs. No Tan. Then come back here and read this addendum. Wow! There’s a word worth using more often. [...]

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