Tanning: trend or obsession?

Whether you tan at a tanning salon or not everyone knows what a tanning bed is and the concept of how they work.  You go in pale and come out tan or red depending on your skin type.

Many people around the world go tanning on a daily basis to keep that “natural” glow throughout the year.  So what’s all the hype about?

Spring break is coming up and I know the tanning salons around campus will be having some major business during this month and maybe even some special deals for those new to tanning.

Plenty of my friends including myself go tanning at Palm Beach Tan right down the street from our very own campus.  It’s a great place to tan and a very reputable salon.

The employees working there are always friendly and helpful whenever need be.

Fellow 49er Francesca Suppa is a frequent member at Palm Beach Tan and considers it a part of her lifestyle.

I asked Francesca why tanning was so important to her and why she liked it so much.  “I consider tanning a way to relax, it’s like my therapy in a way.  Plus I think everyone looks better tan. I don’t know what I would do without tanning salons.”

Many people feel that tanning is the only way to go and the tanner the better.

Francesca also stated “There is risk with everything people do whether it be smoking cigarettes or even drinking alcohol.  I take the risk that I may develop skin cancer one day and that’s just how I look at it.”

Not only do women tan in the tanning bed, but more men than you think do so as well.

Kevin Opsal,a Freshman at UNC Charlotte is also a member at Palm Beach Tan.  He just started tanning about 6 months ago and loves it.

I asked him if it embarrassed him to tell people he goes tanning and he replied saying, “I’m not embarrassed to tell my friends but I would never tell my family because they think it’s super bad for you”.

Kevin’s family is right, tanning is bad for you. According to the National Cancer Institute 55 percent of people who tan more than once a month in a tanning bed will develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime.

Spray tans are also a way to get some color if you’re worried about skin cancer.  Although I must warn you they don’t always turn out the way you expect.

Even though tanning may be bad for you it’s a way of life for so many people everywhere including here at UNC Charlotte and they wouldn’t stop tanning for anything.

Tanning is so popular that it is advertised through movies and TV shows as well.  The movie “Going the distance” is an example of when actor Justin Long gets a spray tan to “look better” for the girl he is about to see. Jersey shore is another huge way tanning has been put out there for people to see.

In the end it’s up to you whether you want to tan and look bronzed for the year or go all natural and not risk getting cancer.