I get it, looking tanned is way more attractive than looking pasty. This is a fact I cannot deny, especially as an extremely white person. I’m very pale it has to be said, and in the winter, I get even paler, my skin actually becoming the colour of milk and progressively more and more transparent so that you can see great blue veins everywhere. I personally think that this is me, progressing deeper into my potential future superpower, becoming so pale as to be invisible. I’ll say hi to Iron Man for you all when I finally make it.
Tans make you look healthy, because they give your skin this radiant glow with a lot less effort and commitment than pregnancy (bonus!). But in truth, a tan is damage to you skin cells. You all might be thinking that I’m just saying this because I’m jealous of your already glowing brown skin, and while that’s undeniably true, it’s actually a scientific fact. Now I don’t propose that you become a hermit and shut yourself away from all natural light for the rest of your life and join me in my attempt at becoming invisible. But I do recommend you wear a hat, hang out in the shade a bit and put on some sunscreen, to prevent burns. We’ve destroyed the ozone layer. And when I say we, I mostly blame the baby boomer population, but the truth is that there are great holes in it and we’re not as protected as we used to be.
With this influx of gorgeous sunny weather we’re seeing a lot more photos on Facebook of epic sunburns. This is mostly due to our generation’s fascination with documenting every aspect of our lives using social media, (and I’m no exception, I am so ridiculously addicted to Instagram), but people are showing off their horrific burns like soldiers show of battle wounds. That sunburn likely won’t result in Post Traumatic Stress disorder like war wounds might, but you still might lie awake at night drenched in a pool of your own sweat, reliving the horrible memories of your time in the sun, only to be peeled from the sheets and lose a layer of skin. And really, a sunburn isn’t a sign that you’ve survived the great outdoors, it’s a sign that you’ve allowed the beach to maim your beautiful skin. I’m not telling you to stop posting the photos to Twitter, I love the social media updates! I’m just telling you to go into the shade when you feel yourself becoming lobster-like and put a little SPF on your skin so you don’t look like Rip van Winkle when you’re 35.