Sun-Kissed or Snow White?


Kaelin Chauvez and Sophie Mustert, Staff Writers

Today, there are a wide variety of ways to achieve that perfect sun-kissed summer glow year-round. Common artificial tanning methods used in today’s society include tanning lotions, tanning beds, and spray tans. There are many different arguments for and against different methods of tanning. 

However, when early humans migrated to hotter climates, the UV rays caused sun damage on people’s skin. Strong and prolonged sun exposure caused humans’ skin to adapt darker, to protect against the damaging rays. Skin cancer can be a result of prolonged sun exposure. Melanin is the skin brown pigment, it’s like a natural sunscreen that protects people from harmful effects of sun rays. People who moved to colder zones developed lighter skin, so they could absorb the vitamin D in their skin easily. There is a range of problems associated with the deficiency of vitamin D. 

Culture plays a role in how skin color is viewed. In the united states, tan skin is desirable and beautiful. A natural glow can boost the esteem of many US citizens, such as bodybuilders. Bodybuilders tan to create a darker look that outlines the muscles in your abdomen, appearing skinnier and leaner.

In Asia, the view of tan skin is very different. Many people favor the pale, white skin tone. Many Asian females will buy a foundation that is a few shades lighter than their natural skin tone. Many Asian celebrities also prefer a pale skin tone, but several American celebrities keep up with their tanning routines. Chinese culture views pale skin as very important. Many women will only go outside if their skin is covered up with long sleeves and oversized glasses, holding parasols while on their daily walks. Whitening skincare products are very common in beauty stores in Asia, but when you’re in America, tanning lotions are very common.

Many females try to be tan for occasions such as homecoming, whirl, and prom. Many other girls tan regularly to have that summer glow year-round. We sent out a survey and asked 32 anonymous people on when they would ever use self-tanning, and over half of them said never. Here are the results:

(graph created by Kaelin Chauvez)

 In our modern American society where we were grown up to believe that it makes you look better and that pale is considered emo; whereas now, many women have begun to embrace themselves and keep their original color rather than bumping it up a few more shades of orange. But whether we tan or not, as long as people are “feelin’ themselves,” it is not something we can judge people on as long as it is still healthy and we are all happy.