1. UV rays lead to cancer. Read that again: UV rays lead to cancer. These harsh rays of sunshine damage the very DNA of your dermal cells, which triggers enzymes to rush and replace the damage. To repair the damage the enzymes must create more cells; however the enzymes do not always create cells properly. Sometimes they mutate, and this causes cancer. Every time you tan, your chance of getting cancer increases.
2. The idea that tan skin = beautiful is a social construct, meaning that there is no inherent beauty in tan skin (as opposed to a symmetrical face). Our culture made up this idea that tan equals beautiful; tanning booth companies saw they could make money from this concept, and now these companies promote the idea that to be beautiful, you must be tan.
3. You are addicted. When you leave the tanning booth or beach, do you feel happy, high, and almost euphoric? The suns rays contain high levels of vitamin D amongst other things, which make you feel good and increase certain levels of hormones and neurotransmitters in your brain, causing a bonafide addiction. Just say no.
4. Tanning makes you age faster. That beige glow might look nice today, but in thirty years your skin will resemble tough brown leather, much like a dirty elephant’s behind. Once UV rays destroy the elasticity of your skin, you will never get it back.
5. Tanning costs a lot of money. Besides additional taxes that may be put into place soon, keeping a tan fresh à la Jersey Shore costs anywhere from $100 to $300 a month. In a year’s time, you could buy a whole wardrobe for that. And besides, do you really want to do anything that is à la Jersey Shore?
6. Tanning is passé. Today everyone knows the dangers of tanning, and girls who tan all day and all night put off an air of narcissism and ignorance. Even celebrities are spray tanning; take a hint and let this dated hobby die.
7. You may burn. Sunburns are painful and look silly, and a bad one might set you up for a weekend of pain instead of fun. Worse, all it takes is a few bad burns to increase your risk of cancer exponentially.
8. Tanning booths are gross. Sure, sure – they are supposed to clean and disinfect them after every customer, but the reality is that you are laying in a booth near-naked and sweating- right after someone else has laid in the same booth near-naked and sweating. Is that a hair?
9. Your time could be spent 1000 different ways that are better for you. It takes a lot of time to keep a tan up; instead you could learn a foreign language, take a swing dancing class, spend some quality time with your friends or go for a jog. Instead, you’re lying in a booth for hours and hours every month trying to make yourself more beautiful. How lame.
10. You are beautiful the way you are. The beauty industry makes a whole lot of money by telling you that your hair isn’t shiny enough, your hips aren’t slim enough, your face isn’t smooth enough and your skin isn’t tan enough. It is time to say no to these peddlers of low self-esteem and quit comparing yourself to other girls or worse, some impossible ideal that can never be attained. You are beautiful just the way you are; embrace this natural beauty.