Monday, June 30, 2014

Wrong Message Ellen

In case you missed it, the Ellen DeGeneres Show has asked the public to “Send us your bad sunburn photos!”  This is the photo they used as an example:

As a colleague of mine would say, from 50,000 feet, this seems funny.  I would equate the humor to someone writing “Dork” on a sleeping frat brother’s forehead.  Sure, it’s sophomoric humor, but it can be funny.

But in all honesty, this isn’t funny.  You and I both know that there is nothing funny about a sunburn.  One bad sunburn can significantly increase one’s chance of being diagnosed with skin cancer or melanoma.  Repeated sun exposure is even worse.  Of the top seven cancers, incidents of melanoma are rising while all others are declining.  Most skin cancer and melanoma can be attributed to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds.  In short, sunburns are bad.  Very bad.

You might call me a hypocrite.  After all, I posted a blog a three years ago (almost to the day!) that made fun of “funny” sunburns.  Well, in all honesty, I was trying to showcase how improper sun screen application can result in sunburns.  Still, I used the words “every now and then I have to lighten things up” meaning that I thought the pictures in the blog were indeed funny.  In retrospect, they weren’t (although they still emphasize proper use of sunscreen). 

I do have a sense of humor.  Some would say I have a sick sense of humor that defies political correctness.  As I said before, from a distance, Ellen’s request seems funny…until you realize that some people may purposely subject themselves to “funny sunburns” so as to have their photo appear on TV.  This is what makes this so offensive to me.

If any sunburns are to be posted, let them be of sunburns that make attractive people look ridiculous. 

Make a statement that sunburns are not to be laughed at, but to be admonished with mutterings of “when will they ever learn?”  I would love to see a segment on Ellen start with such photos to cause the audience to laugh…and then show a picture such as one of these:

Imagine how the audience would grow silent.  Imagine how they would stop to think.  Imagine the message that could follow with important and substantial discussion about sun safety and melanoma.

Now THAT would put a smile on my face.


  1. That would be a great idea for the segment! Or even for a melanoma PSA.

  2. My husband passed away from metastatic melanoma this past october. He was 38, and the doctors never found the point of entry. These ignorant pictures make me sick and sad.

  3. My son was 20 when he passed away. They never found the point of entry. It will be 5 years July 4th, a day I will hate the rest of my life!