SUNBEDS: A FATAL OBSESSION; Once, Women Used Arsenic to Look PALE. This Week, Devastating New Research Proved They're Risking Death in Sunbed Salons to Look TANNED. and Who's to Blame? Celebrities Who've Made Orange Skin Seem a Short-Cut to Glamour

Daily Mail (London), July 30, 2009 | Go to article overview

SUNBEDS: A FATAL OBSESSION; Once, Women Used Arsenic to Look PALE. This Week, Devastating New Research Proved They're Risking Death in Sunbed Salons to Look TANNED. and Who's to Blame? Celebrities Who've Made Orange Skin Seem a Short-Cut to Glamour


Byline: by Olivia Lichtenstein

MORE than a century ago, porcelain-white skin was the sign of a well-born lady; she wore long dresses and carried a parasol to safeguard her enviably pale complexion from the sun.

She even went as far as using leadbased cosmetics and arsenic to lighten her skin, little realising the significant health risks of doing so.

There was much at stake: after all, coarser, darkened skin was the sorry fate of those who toiled in the fields.

In short, the colour of your skin was a clearly recognised indicator of your social standing.

Everything changed in the Twenties when the wealthy began to holiday on the Riviera and Coco Chanel, the global fashion icon, made it beautiful for women to be tanned.

Suddenly, a suntan became a symbol of wealth in Britain; after all, the poor, pale working classes, who'd long since left the fields for the factories, couldn't afford holidays abroad, and the sun rarely shone in places such as Blackpool.

With the advent of cheap package holidays in the Sixties, suddenly everyone could have a tan, and with the glowing sun-kissed skin came the illusion that we were all wealthy, healthy and successful.

Since then, we've all been at it, roasting in the sun to achieve the deepest bronze possible, pouring oil on ourselves as we burned to a crisp.

But once tans became really fashionable for the masses, two weeks in the Mediterranean sun was never going to be enough.

Which is why our 'give-it-tome-now' society produced a quick-fix solution: the sunbed, a mecca for the tan-obsessed.

ANY possible longterm health consequences mattered little to the girls who queued up in their thousands to lie in the warm embrace of these light-filled coffins.

As chartered psychologist Dr Colin Gill points out: 'Young people believe that they're immortal, and any health problems are thought to be so far in the future that they are disregarded.'

But how many of the women who queued up to lie on sunbeds in the past 30 years are now paying a very high price? How many are fighting skin cancer, or anxiously studying moles that are changing shape and growing bigger?

This week, the stark facts about sunbeds were laid bare in a damning World Health Organisation report, which concluded that sunbeds are as great a cancer threat as cigarettes or asbestos.

The intensity of the UV light emitted by sunbeds is so strong that a 20-minute session is equivalent to spending an entire day on the beach.

In other words, sunbeds are the modern-day equivalent of those Victorian lead-based cosmetics and arsenic -- except they have the reverse result of making us dark rather than keeping us pale. Note also that along with that dramatic shift has come a sea change in the social class of the women who are most desperate to have 'fashionable' skin.

Where once it was regarded as 'common' to be tanned, now it's an obsession for millions of young working-class women who long to look like the most feted young female celebrities of the modern age.

Take Cheryl Cole or Jordan -- women who have exploited their looks and what talent they have to become rich and successful. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

SUNBEDS: A FATAL OBSESSION; Once, Women Used Arsenic to Look PALE. This Week, Devastating New Research Proved They're Risking Death in Sunbed Salons to Look TANNED. and Who's to Blame? Celebrities Who've Made Orange Skin Seem a Short-Cut to Glamour
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.