We have, my Dear Readers, all seen it; a white girl tanned to a carrot-orange with black lines around her eyes from the goofy eye protection pieces in the indoor tanning bed. It looks terrible, but thousands of young women aspiring to be the next Snooki (yes, they are a misguided youth) duck into tanning beds each day. What parents and teens do not understand is the unnatural concentration of ultraviolet rays at such a young age almost assures tanners to develop melanoma. While the effects may not arise as tumors until years later, the damage done to skin during the teen years leaves melanoma extra time to develop and to spread as cancer to other parts of the body. Compared to natural midday sunlight, tanning beds are 10 to 15 times more powerful than the sun. To combat the risk, state legislators in Virginia are working to ban tanning by minors, in addition to the 10% tax levied on tanning salons last year. Around the country, state governments are looking at the health risks of tanning and over-tanning by young people. Many states have laws stipulating a specific age, usually 14 or 16, in order to tan without adult consent. By tanning once a week, the risk of contracting melanoma rises. At the very least, teens age their skin by tanning once a week 10-20 years faster. The Indoor Tanning Association, obviously, says all these proven facts are speculation. They are idiots. Don’t tan, and if you do, do not tan more than twice a week. You don’t want to look like Snooki.
You don’t really want to look like this.