Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

With the infamous Victoria’s Secret fashion show filmed this past week, photos are surfacing all over the web ofof the beautiful models from the show.  Everyone gawks at the models’ perfect hair, smile, and body, wondering how they could possibly achieve such perfection. Sigh. But aside from their perfect everything, there’s always something else that adds that extra umph to really make them shine. Literally. They have a glow. On top of their already flawless everything, they always have the perfect tan.

In our generation, tanning has been directly linked to beauty. So much so that things like “5 dollar Tuesdays” at local tanning salons are what get people through the week. People have tanning beds in their homes. People are actually addicted to tanning. While it might give off positive endorphins, tanning does harm our bodies.

Being tan should be something that happens in the summer, or when you’re on vacation. There is no need to look like you jst left the beach in the middle of November. You may look like you just stepped off the plane after 10 days in the Bahamas, but in reality you just stepped out of what was probably a gross tanning salon next to a pet store in some random strip mall. Mmmmm can’t you just smell the ocean?! Or is that the half eaten hot dog some old guy just threw in the overflowing trashcan? Doesn’t exactly sound as picturesque as a beautiful beach somewhere.

Instead of lying on a beach chair, you’re lying on a bed that may or may not have been “cleaned.” Either way that bed has seen thousands and thousands of people before you. Gross. Think of it like a public bathroom, would you ever want to lie on the floor of your dorm’s community shower? No. There’s 87 hundred things I would do before that. We wear shower shoes for a reason people.

And do I even have to mention the fact of skin cancer? You are lying in a bed just waiting to get skin cancer. Anyone who’s ever gone to a tanning salon is already 74% more likely to develop cancerous melanoma than someone who hasn’t. Tanning outside is bad enough, so why increase that chance of developing skin cancer even more by tanning inside year round? And if that’s not enough to make you want to stop, think about all the wrinkles that are developing every time you tan. You’re young now with beautiful skin, but think about the shriveled up raisin you’ll be when you’re older if you continue tanning.

I wish I could say that one time won’t kill you, but the fact of the matter is, it could. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, Visiting a tanning salon just one time in high school or college increases the chance of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year raises this risk almost another two percent. What I can say is that absolutely nobody cares if you’re tan or not. If you’re pale, embrace it. Don’t try and make yourself tan by turning into something of the tomato variety. You’ll just end up getting burnt, and nobody enjoys a sunburn, and it doesn’t look good either, unless you enjoy some nice goggle tan lines. When you think back to things like college formals, high school dances, or just some random Saturday night, you’re not going to reminisce about how tan you were. You’re going to remember the good times you had with good friends, because being tan made no difference in that night.

So here is my advice for tanning: don’t. Buy yourself some Jergens, a great bronzer, invest in a good spray tan, or just accept the fact that it’s the middle of winter so it’s really okay if you don’t look like a bronze goddess. Looking tan for a few days is not worth the skin cancer that could affect the rest of your life, and even kill you.

Photos 1, 2