August 25th, 2014
Let the Tans Fade
As I was given the opportunity to intern at Bordas & Bordas this summer, I knew that I would be facing a new way of life, a way of life that many refer to as "the real world." I knew things in my life would change, like sleeping in no later than 7:30 a.m., being in bed by 10:30 p.m., and not having eight hours a day to do whatever I please. One thing that really got to me was that I had no time to catch some rays and lay by the pool as much as I had in the past. As my friends were all enjoying the sun and comparing tans, I was getting paler and paler. So, just like any other person my age, I made appointments at the local tanning salon and soon enough had some color. I thought, "What's the big deal? I have been tanning for homecomings, proms and weddings since I was in high school."
The problem with my generation is that we all think that we are invincible. We see things like car wrecks, drugs and alcohol abuse and think, "That will never happen to me." The more I think about that statement, I find that I think the exact same thing when it comes to putting myself under the florescent, ultra-violet rays. If you haven't figured out where I am headed with this entry, I am talking about skin cancer. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? That more than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually? Or that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of a lifetime? If not, skincancer.org
can inform you of these statistics and more.
The thought of these numbers scares me, and knowing that I have seen more Facebook posts and news stories about how the number of skin cancer victims has increased this year makes the fear even worse. I have now found out that more than one of my friends has been tested for this life-threatening disease. I promised myself on July 19 that I would never step foot in a tanning bed ever again. In the past, I had stopped going tanning towards the end of the "shorts season," but now I will just embrace my paleness and watch others make the foolish decision to ruin their skin.
If I could go back and tell 15-year-old me to not step foot in the tanning salon, I would in a heartbeat. I come from of family of pale skin - my dad is a redhead and I consider myself half redhead - which raises my chances of skin cancer if I do not take precaution. I am not writing this to slam tanning salons because I have paid many hundreds of dollars to get that glowing tan. I am writing this to bring awareness and to stop women both young and old from going to the tanning beds. If you really can't live without being tan, look into getting a spray tan; they're safe, healthy and available at most tanning salons. We are all beautiful and unique, and the time has come to embrace the paleness and bring more awareness to skin cancer. I've decided to save my skin and let my tan fade. Will you?