Melbourne's top models have been banned from using sunbeds before next week's L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.
Great news given that research shows that using a sunbed before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75 per cent. A recent Australian study also estimated that one in six melanomas in young Australians, aged 18 to 29, would be prevented if solariums were shut down.
So it's great to see the fashion industry speak out against these cancerous machines and they should be congratulated on this really positive step to support a move to ban them entirely, as they have done in New South Wales. Now not only do we have health agencies advocating for a state wide solarium ban but the fashion world too.
Yet this is certainly not the last we'll see of copper-coloured catwalk beauties blazing their bronzed way across magazines, catalogues and screens. Spray tans will be used to create that suntanned look with fashion still dictating that a little bit of colour makes you look better.
And to be fair, it's not just the fashionistas who think this. Many a heated argument has arisen between my friends and family and I over this very topic. What looks better - natural skin or the tanned look?
Spending much of my misspent youth, trying to achieve that fashionable sun kissed look ended abruptly for me when I had a personal experience of skin cancer. Now I am vehemently against tanning of any kind, even fake. Why would anyone condone risking their health for the sake of a "little bit of colour." And fake tan, presumably a much safer alternative (although I wonder about another lot of chemicals being lathered onto our skin) just perpetuates the idea that a tan is desirable and equates to being beautiful. This surely encourages young, impressionable people to forgo the sunscreen just for a few minutes, as a little colour is okay.
But every exposure is doing you damage and increases your risk of skin cancer.
Maybe I just need to accept that fake tan will always be popular and hope that people realise it is the only acceptable means to achieve the tanned look.
What do you think? If models are tanned at fashion week are young people still going to desire a tan, and attempt to get one using any means?
Do you think the fashion will ever discourage altering skin colour to capture a certain look, thereby emboldening people to accept and love the skin that they are in?
Tan or no tan - what do you think?
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