Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Big Bang Theory

Doctors at Johns Hopkins University noticed an interesting thing when examining teenagers with bangs.  The skin covered by the bangs was more pale and freckle-free while the rest of the face would exhibit more freckles.  Whiles freckles are not considered dangerous, they are a marker of increased sun exposure and potential skin damage.  Dubbed the “Big Bang Theory,” the experts at Johns Hopkins feel that this discovery would make a great teaching mechanism with which teenagers could relate, especially since teen idol Justin Bieber made the hairstyle popular.  Dr. Bernard Cohen was quoted (1) as saying that it’s “a gimmicky way to make them smile and engage them in conversation about sun protection.”

I appreciate the effort and intent of this teaching method, but I see two major flaws.  First, Justin Bieber no longer has bangs.
Source: music-mix.ew.com
Secondly, from what I understand in my own kids’ conversations, one mention of Justin Bieber would send most teens running away screaming or, worse yet, result in the dreaded eye roll!

Perhaps a couple of the lads from One Direction would be a more accepted comparison.

Source: musictimes.com
Or, if I may, you might consider my own son.

Source: Proud Dad
My 12 year-old son has bangs, as you can see.  His favorite move is the head swoosh where he shakes his head to one side hard enough for his bangs to lie at just the right angle.  He’s perfected the move to the point that he seems to be in a habitual seizure of head shaking.  But hey, that’s how he rolls.

He likes his bangs and it makes me long for the day when I had bangs. <sigh>

Source: The 1980's
Whether the example is Justin Bieber, One Direction, or my son Nathan, any gimmick that works is worth it.  Any talk with teenagers about skin cancer usually falls on deaf ears.  Teens consider themselves invincible and seldom worry about getting skin cancer that could be years or decades down the road.  Many experts suggest focusing on wrinkles and sun spots to get the point of sun safety across.  After all, while teens want to act older, they also want to continue looking younger.  The threat of looking like some old dude can be serious motivation to take care of the skin.  And showing the difference between covered and uncovered skin, even on the same head, might help get the point across.

Goodness knows there are many talks we need to have with our teens.  (Oh boy do I know that!)  But don't forget to add one more talk...the one about sun safety and wearing sunscreen.  It's as important as any other talk you may have!

(1) https://uk.news.yahoo.com/justin-biebers-bangs-could-save-teens-skin-234403230.html#KHxQVmo

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