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Are You “Too Tan?”

Are you too tan? How do you feel about having your skin this dark? I am referring to the sun caused skin color.

Women Tanning and risking skin cancer

I suppose there is a difference in where you live, and the cultures in different areas that would border to ethnic related. However, I am thinking skin color from being in the sun. Can you be too tan?

I got to visit with a very special person yesterday. To my dismay she was bronze! In her defense, her face was some lighter. But her neck and throat and arms and legs were so dark.

Being tan is important to her. She has an olive tone to her skin anyway, and rarely burns. She has always felt that a tan was important for her. But in my time of knowing her, this is the most tan I have seen her.

She has the typical reply when you mention the dangers of so much sun that she never burns and that she used sunscreen. I didn’t say anything about her tan, I just enjoyed her company. This frightened me that there are people in my circle who still tan their skin so much.

Would I have had the same reaction had she done anything else that was so bad for her? I would have ignored a weight gain. Yes that is dangerous to her body as well. And yes that is usually something one has control over. Or if she had started smoking?

Would I have been as alarmed if I had not spent the past 1 1/2 years learning about the dangers to the skin that the sun poses?

How Do You Feel About Tan?

What do you think? If you see a friend is doing something so dangerous to the health of her skin, what would you do?

Does the behavior of one friend tanning a lot make you consider getting a tan yourself? Even knowing how dangerous a tan can be? Or would you be as upset as I was for my friend, but felt I could not share my concerns?

Attitudes about tanning among young adults in Chicago suggest modern American culture places value on getting a suntan. Iwould love to find one that was done in other parts of the US.

• In 1988 over 58% percent of survey respondents thought people looked better with a tan. 

Then only 19 years later:

• In 2007 a whopping 81% thought people are more attractive with a tan. 

Friends, that is a big increase! Your age will probably speak for itself and your feelings about suntanning. How old were you in 2007?

When taken further the study surveyed 10,000 girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 18 about how they felt towards tanning and tan skin in general. That group would now be 26 to 32 years old. Is that your age group or your kids age group?

The results from this group revealed that 75% would have a tan. And from this group, 26% even said it was worth getting sunburned in order to be tan.  Given what we now know about sun dangers, do you still think that being tan is worth getting a sunburn?

I can’t help but wonder about those who tan. Do you think that they feel culturally pressured to do so in order to blend in? At what age are you able to ignore what your peers are doing? When do you decide for your- self without being concerned about your friends?

Does A Tan Help or Hurt When You Live In The US?

In some settings, people feel that they will be treated better if they have a tan than they will if they are pale.

Unfortunately, there is evidence suggesting that those with a tan are treated more favorably in certain settings.

• Both men and women with a tan are perceived to be friendlier, more popular, fitter, and healthier. 

• In one study the results in an experimental setting, employers were more likely to rate a job candidate more suited for the job if they had a tan.

Women Are More Knowledgable About The Dangers Of Tanning

Multiple studies have shown that women, young people, and single people sre the key tanning demographics. These groups contain the people who are more apt to try to get a tan.

It seems that women, single people, as well as younger people try to tan more than men or married people, and older people do.

Even though college students know that skin cancer is usually accumulative they choose to try to tan. This goes with the other risky behavors this group chooses.

Another study found women in college participated in greater levels of risky tanning in the sun than their male counterparts.  Those college students who were currently dating were even more prone to tan and tan more often.

Women are more educated than men on the dangers of tanning. However even with their knowledge, they tan more than men.

Young Single Women Tan More Than Men, Why?

Academics propose an evolutionary psychology to explain this risky behavior.

With so many engaging in tanning, knowing the danger involved, suggests that powerful motivating psychological forces are at work.

Some of these college-age women report that their tanning habits are partially influenced by their desire to appear attractive in the eyes of men. They believe tanning makes them look healthier and more attractive. 

Hopefully these young women are more confident in who they are and what they can do and not still influenced by the opinions of the opposite sex. However, this is a strong pull, and in much of our society men influence women and their behaviour.

The women are steping away from the molds of the past. We no longer feel like we are Rosey the Rivitor when we have careers. However, it is not always easy to be as self reliant as we would like. Having a mate is a natural urge we have as women and trying to look as attractive as possible is a part of that.

We still have “Women are more knoledgeable of the risks of suntanning, but they still believe tanning will help them become more attractive.”

Tanning Important Consideration for Mate Selection?

Researchers theorize that some women will take on the health risks of tanning because the positive results. Looking more attractive to a potential mate is worth the risk!

The same health risk is not worth it for men. They signal their attractiveness to potential mates in different ways. 

So women still have a ways to go to be actually equal in your lives. Women value their apperiance more than men.

The marketing world will not let us change this very quickly. The cosmetic world as well as the fashion world keeps us going with all the reminders of how their products will help us be more attractive.

These two influential marketing giants will not allow us to move past this because of the money in their pockets.

Will your children be influenced as mine were? I was heavily influenced by the attractiveness to the male population appearance was.

I would like to have my grandkids choosing mated based on likes, and interests and compatibility. Shared goals, the important parts of building a happy and successful life.

We are not setting very good examples for our grandkids when we do not pay attention to our skin health and keep our bodies safe from the sun.

Does Tanning Influnce Career Oppurtunities?

There’s evidence that some women feel pressure to choose a tan or to be pale because of others’ opinions about what looks more attractive.

• If the tan was chosen as more desireable by the group, females in the study were more willing to tan. 

• When pale was the skin tone chosen as being attractive, the young women were less willing to tan.

Women must mature and act in a way that is better for themand their skin health. And immediately after I wrote this statement, I think of my friend. She is in her early sixties. Is it a bit to remain more attractive or is it an addiction?

Too Tan? Is It A Mental Thing?

When survey data reveals that people say tanned skin is more attractive? Is it any surprise they believe they themselves look better with a tan?

How do you view the way people look before and after makeup can significantly change. The way a person looks before and after a tan can also influence how attractive we find them.

Our actions in real-life situations will help us understand whether or not a tan is actually more attractive than paler skin.

Are You Too Tan Is Because of Superficial Based Opinions

One study, using photos only, was to investigate whether or not tan skin would be chosen as more attractive.

Hotornot.com, a website where the public rates the attractiveness of a person (based solely on their physical appearance) on a scale of 1 – 10.

The photos of 45 female university students (aged 21 – 35) were uploaded to the website. First, as they were naturally. Then again after a digitally added ‘tan’. The tan was edited by using Adobe Photoshop. 

Each image stayed on the website until it got at least 100 votes. (The study also included 5 male subjects. They were later excluded because their images on hotornot.com didn’t receive the threshold of 100 votes.)

Women with natural skin that was darker than type V on the Fitzpatrick scale (a classification scale for skin color) were not included.

This was because the difference in skin tone before and after the digital tan would not be significantly noticeable. 

The results had 30 of the 45 photos had a higher rating with the tan skin. Of the 30 who received higher ratings, 40% got significantly more attractive or “hot” ratings. So in this study, tan was definitely the preferred skin color.

Hotter With A Tan Than Without

• 15/45 of the photos received a lower rating after the tan. Of these 15, only 13% were rated significantly less attractive with the tan. 

The results suggest tanned skin is more attractive than paler skin.

The small size and limitations of this study, lack of male subjects, the Photoshop tan may not have been good. The students were all from the local area, and not as wide a mix of the population as needed. However, the mindset and what was found attractive was general enough to show that tans are still favored.

This will make it hard to discourage people in the demographics of this group to slow down on tanning.

What Is More Attractive? Dark, Medium Or Light Tan?

In a different part of this research men and women were instructed to rate the appearance of a female model in photos. The model appeared with three different types of digitally edited tan: a light tan, a medium tan, and a dark tan. 

• Men rated the model the most attractive when she had the darkest tan level.

Women, did not have a significant preference for any tan level on the model.

• Men also considered the model at the darkest tan level to be healthier and more attractive than when she was at tan at a medium level.

Women’s preference level for the darkest tan did not change much from the light tan level. Females did not show a significant preference for any tan level once again.

• Unlike the women, the men also saw the model as thinner at the deeper tan level than the medium or light tan.

This suggests men are particularly susceptible to finding a deep tan attractive and associating positive traits with a deep tan. If this is true with most men,beyond the study, the attempt for the “Are You Too Tan” will continue, even to the danger point.

Ancient Artwork Exaggerats Skin Tone For Men and Women

Many ancient artworks, including Roman, Etruscan, Egyptian, and Greek feature paler females and darker males. So this is a difference that has been with us a long time.

The classic explanation for this is that the artist is reflecting the indoor life of the woman, and the tan-inducing outdoors life of men. 

In our part of the world, we often think that sun tanning is the best way to improve our skin color. Research suggests that living a healthy lifestyle, eating a good diet might actually be better. 

General Health

Our healthy appearance is dependent on healthy eating. The only natural way in which we can make our skin lighter and more yellow or light tan is a healthy diet that is high in fruit and vegetables.

Can Carrots Trick People Into Thinking You’re Good Looking

You may not have a more attractive nose. But carrots can help your skin look like you have been out in the sun, getting a healty glow.

This kind of testing has proven to be a better way to look healthier and more attractive. It may not be a darker level tan, but your skin will definatly look brighter and heather with a beta carotene rich diet.

This is a win for your skin and your overall health picture.

Adopting A Beta-Carotene Rich Diet: Yellower and Redder

For another study, pictures of men were taken before, and then a while after they adopted a beta-carotene rich diet. 

Women rated the attractiveness of the men’s faces in the pictures before and after this diet.

After multiple health screenings on the men before and after to find out if their health changed in any significant way following the change in to the healthier diet. The men’s health did not change.

The period used in the study was not enough to allow the already healthy diets of the men in the study to change.

Computer technology reveales the men’s faces became more yellow and also redder following the diet change. 

No Real Change in Health, But A Big Difference in Attractiveness

Women rated the men significantly more attractive in the pictures after the increase in beta-carotene than before. Based on the short time in the study, there was not actually time for health benefits to show in testing.

The beta-caretone made them look healthier. Even though these men were tested with multiple health screening measures they did not show any health improvements. The results seems a trick.

With a ‘carotenoid pigment-rich’ yellow skin color looks more attractive, it does not appear to be a real signal of health. Instead, it seems to trick a potential mate into thinking the yellow skin tone is a signal of health! 

Considerations With Study Findings

• There are huge differences in personal and cultural preference for skin tone across the world. Based on facts and customes in the region, you will find common factors. We naturally respond more positively to those like us.

• Whatever your skin tones are, pale, tanned. Or have if you have a dark skin tone, and no tan changes, there are certain cultures (and many individuals) who find your skin very attractive.

• Sometimes there’s a cultural preference for the more desired skin tone. Then at other times the cultural preference sways towards wanting what the group does not have. 

• Survey data and academic experiments do show that tanned skin is considered more attractive than pale skin among Caucasians in the US.

Some research suggests with a tan, people are perceived better and treated better in America than people with paler skin tones. 

• Although young, single women are more knowledgeable about the dangers of tanning, they engage in tanning far more than men.

One evolutionary explanation for this: the health risk is worth it for some women if they believe the tan will make them more attractive to potential mates.

Reminders Of A Study and It’s Shortcommings

There is a high rate of replication failure in the social sciences.

Do not take the results of any of these studies as gospel, they may fail to replicate in the future!

Most importantly, do not base your self-worth around other people’s opinions of the way you look.

Learn How To Protect Your Skin
Sami’s Take On Are You Too Tan

We can find ourselves thinking that we want something.

Like the dog chasing the car, what does he do when he catches it?

A summer spent getting and keeping a tan can wreck your skin. Our skin is a wonderful body sock that keeps everything in place and accounted for. The damage we do to ourselves with too much sun will continue to take a toll on the skins ability to protect you.

Skin cancer is a great fear and real danger of too much sun. As the damage is accumulative, how do you know you have not reached the end of how much damage your skin can handle?

As we are careless about exposing our skin to the sun, we can all use better habits. The natural love we have for too much sun on our bodies is something most of us brought from being young.

When you are young, you heal from sun damage quicker. There is less apparent damage to see. However as time goes by, the damage is visible on our faces, our dry ugly spotted hands. The area around our eyes. The lines and wrinkles where our skin can’t repair itself anymore.

Sun blocking clothing is easy protection for your skin. Get your basic sun hat and sunglasses. Add the lip balm. You will need a sun blocking shirt that is long sleeve and loose fitting for good air circulation. Sunscreen to protect what isn’t covered with clothing.

Allow yourself to stay healthy and discourage skin cancer for you and your family.

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