Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's about freaking time!

I smoked for almost 20 years and the absolute worst part of it, worse than the coughing or the expense or being told to go outside in sub-zero temperatures, was getting health lectures from tan people. I hate tans now, and for good reason. Tan people who scowl at smokers are all hypocrites.

The tanning industry, that means tanning beds and lotions and even the fake tan guys with their sprays and lotions, is just as bad as the tobacco industry ever was. They promote tanning to kids, they promote tanning as glamorous and beautiful, and they perpetuate the myth of the "healthy" tan. The fake bake guys still promote the idea that pale is ugly and tan is the way to be and if they can take candy cigarettes off the shelf then the bronzers have to go too. They need to be held accountable. And now, it seems, they might be.

A recent study has found tanning beds to be as deadly as arsenic. The radiation they put out is carcinogenic, no two ways about it. And if some clever lawyer can prove that the tanning bed companies knew about this and didn't tell anyone, then there's a class-action suit in the future. I can't wait.

I read somewhere that the movie ratings people were considering giving an automatic R rating to any movie where a person smokes. That means that the old 101 Dalmations cartoon movie, if made today, would be given an R rating because of Cruella's cigarette. I think that eventually the same should be said for tans. If a naturally pale person like Scarlet Johanson has a tan in a movie, there should be, at the least, public outrage. Skin cancers are ridiculously prevalent in our society, precisely because people (women especially) are embarrassed to be seen with a natural skin color. Even me. I'm pale and I don't wear shorts because of how pale my legs are. And I wear spf 85 when I go out!

Say what you will about men in black eyeliner and nail polish, or women with black hair and blond roots, the goth movement at least brought pale back. I too, like Martin Luther King Jr., have a dream where people are no longer judged by their skin color. Especially when the alternative seems to be irradiating teenagers for prom.

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