One tends to get snippy when a privilege is taken away. I recall back when I was a sophomore in college and West Virginia changed their legal drinking age from 18 to 21. I was 19 at the time and was fortunate enough to ride a grandfather clause that allowed me to continue drinking (never heavily mind you, but socially). Still, the freshmen behind me were banned. Well, at least at public bars…not so much at private parties. But I digress. The point is, those younger than me were really peeved that they had to sneak around to drink.
There’s a lot of snippiness going around at high schools and
colleges lately due to increased pressure to stop tanning. For many kids, tanning for prom, spring break
or a summer “base tan” is a rite of passage.
The thought that government might take away their “right” to tan is
upsetting and downright socialist! At
least that’s what they think.
A recent blog commented that the male brain doesn’t reach
maturity until the mid-twenties. Anotherblog cited a book that mentions that the brain may not finish growing until after
the teenage years. What this means is
that no matter the information piled upon teens, they just won’t comprehend the
data unless they want to. They will
merely get snippy at being denied the “right” to tan and not understand the
underlying reason for the ban.
Today I ran across an editorial…from an editor of a high
school newspaper called the “The Sailor’s Log.”
The editorial piece was called, “To Tan Or Not To Tan: Editor ConsidersPre-Spring Break Options.” Erinn Taylor
openly admits that two weeks prior to her annual spring vacation to Florida,
she visits a tanning booth three or four times per week. She admits that this is probably not the
smartest practice and goes on to quote various skin cancer facts:
“According to mayoclinic.com, being exposed to ultraviolet
(UV) radiation (the type of light used in a tanning bed) is dangerous. It does
not matter whether the rays come from a tanning bed or the natural sunlight.”
“According to health.harvard.edu, exposure to UV radiation
is linked to skin cancer and premature aging.”
“According to livestrong.org, people who have used tanning
beds before the age of 30 have increased their risk of melanoma by 75 percent.”
Erinn goes on to state that her mother had a basal cell carcinoma
removed this past summer.
“It looked like a scab, and the dermatologist cut it off,
not a problem.”
Unfortunately her mother’s simple procedure to remove the
BCC probably reinforced the classic “just cut it out” opinion that so many
people have regarding skin cancer. Still,
her mother has now turned against tanning beds and is quite skeptical of Erinn’s
use of indoor tanning.
The editorial goes on to state, “Simply looking at the
facts, the decision seems obvious, but I have to look at my individual
situation as well.”
Erinn decided to get her tan again before her Florida
trip. Her final comment? “But at least I know the risk I am taking.”
No she doesn’t. She
THINKS she does…but she does not.
Despite the research she’s done and despite her mom’s insistence that
she not tan, she’s going to go ahead and do it.
This goes to support that there MUST be a ban enacted for
those under 18. Teens cannot comprehend
the risk they’re truly taking. Their
parents are unable to stop them. And
like the freshmen back in my college days who found a way to get the beer they
wanted, today’s teens will find a way past “parental consent” laws for tanning.
As stated by another, the only real way to stop people from
tanning on a volunteer basis is to change the general public’s perception of
what’s attractive. This would not be an
easy task. Until then, ban the tanning