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Soaking Up Synthetic Sun

Megan Whitehouse and Danielle Varro| Opinion Writers

Courtesy of Hip and Healthy.  http://hipandhealthy.com/fake-tan-tips/

Courtesy of Hip and Healthy. http://hipandhealthy.com/fake-tan-tips/

You probably don’t remember back in the day, when girls would lather their body in baby oil and spend hours cooking themselves in the sun. Some diehards would even resort to a mirror to intensify the sunlight to get that beach-like glow. The reason people turned to baby oil was to attract the sun and moisturize their skin, the downside is the oil has no protection against UVA or UVB rays. But studies have shown that putting any type of oils on your body while tanning “cooks your skin” and is very unhealthy.  A study in 2006 in the Archives of Dermatology, found a 76.8% increase in the skin cancer and melanoma, between the years 1992-2006. Each year this statistic grows by 4.2%. In response to the controversy over the extreme ways to get tan, an unnamed student from La Cueva, who visits tanning beds often, said, “It depends on the quality and amount that you are in [the bed]. Overuse is unsafe but in appropriate amounts it’s fine.”

So what’s so appealing about tan skin that women and men are willing to risk their lives to achieve this popular look? We asked students at La Cueva high school to debunk this mystery.

Megan Schoch, sophomore, said, “I definitely wish I was tan. Someone told me the other day I was starting to look tan and I took that as one of the greatest compliments ever. But I would never resort to using baby oil.”

Zack Miller, freshman, said, “Tanning shows that a person cares about their appearance.”

Kylie Clark, senior, said, “I find tan skin attractive because it means you like to go outside and do stuff instead of stay inside playing video games or something.”

Elijah McKnight, sophomore, said, “I like when girls have a tan because they are better than pale people.”

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