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Thanks to Twilight and vampire-mania

Thursday 22 July, 2010

We've been heartily encouraged in our mission to change behaviours around tanning recently. Winter is often a time when people resort to solariums and fake tans but happily it seems that this trend is on the wane.

We spend a lot of time trying to persuade people - particularly young people - that a tan is not healthy and that you should love your own skin colour regardless of whether you're pale or naturally darker skinned.

It's a hard message to convey when everyday we're bombarded with images on TV, in magazines and online of actors-slash-models who seem to be permanently golden of skin. It's even harder in Australia where the image of the 'bronzed Aussie' still looms large in our collective subconscious. But recently we've found some support in some unusual quarters.

The first is the underworld. More specifically vampires. And while we wouldn't encourage anyone to completely forgo sunlight (certainly this time of the year it's important to get some sun for our vitamin D levels), we're excited that with the current vampire-frenzy, pale is suddenly attractive. In fact there are so many outstanding examples of those pale of countenance at the moment that Cancer Research UK undertook a study to find out which of those fangsters was the sexiest.

For those interested - Angel (David Boreanaz) came up trumps followed by Brad Pitt's character in Interview with a Vampire and with Robert Pattinson of Twilight coming in a close third. 

The UK research also found that 89% of women interviewed believed you didn't have to be tanned to be attractive. In Australia, we still have a little way to go until we reach this level, but it's certainly promising.

Certainly in terms of solariums the tide is turning. Greater awareness of the risk of melanoma from solariums means people are walking away from them to the extent that it is drastically impacting the industry. A recent survey by Cancer Council found that the number of solariums advertised in Australia dropped by 32% between 2006 and 2008/9. And by 51% in Melbourne where legislation was first introduced in early 2008.  

If you needed any more convincing about the cons of tanning, take a look at the site we chanced upon this week - paleisthenewtan.com that highlights the horror of fake tans. We think it pretty much gets our message across in very few words.

Have vampires made pale the new black? Do you think fashion magazines and other TV genres will follow suit? Tell us what you think about tanning...any reformed tanners out there want to tell us how they came to love their own skin colour?

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