Why is it Cool to be Brown Only For a While at a Time?

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This post deals with two topics. The first is regulating usage of tanning beds by minors due to some science-based suspicion of melanoma or skin cancer resulting from it, a real problem going on today. It sets up the second topic which is a philosophical question regarding racism against coloured people and the hypocrisy to look a little more like them to be elitist in a trendy sense.

Woman in Tanning Bed

Woman in Tanning Bed

According to Wikipedia, sun tanning started becoming a modern fad in the 1940s as women’s magazines encouraged sun bathing and the bikini was introduced in 1946. Since then, it has gathered steam and possibly peaked this year, at least in media and government attention. A total of 17 states, including “sunshine states” Florida and Hawaii, are currently considering laws controlling tanning bed usage by minors [Toronto Star, Mar 26 2009]. Furthermore,

Florida already requires parental approval before minors can use tanning salons. If the new law passes, it would be among the strictest in the nation. Only one state, Wisconsin, bans teens 16 and under from using tanning beds, though a handful of others – California, New York and New Jersey among them – ban the under-14 crowd. At least 29 states have some regulations governing tanning by minors.

Teens are flocking to these tanning beds, apparently. At least 25% of American teens 15-18 years old have used indoor tanning, and many of them might go anywhere from 1-3 times a week!

But, of course, there are stupid politicians, or should I say Republicans, who don’t know anything about regulations who oppose it using Republican “logic”. Florida Republican Senator Mike Bennett said “I gotta tell you, you cannot regulate everything in this world, I suppose we could say the same thing and outlaw tanning on the beach.”

Well, it’s not quite like that Mike. You see, on the beach, it’s not only natural sunlight, but Mother Nature has placed controls on how many suitable sunshiny days you get to sun tan. She regulates how many days in a row and our lifestyle would only permit us so much time during sunshine hours to tan. This is a man made problem, tanning salons, and it needs a man made solution. You don’t need to regulate beach tanning because Mother Nature has already done that for you. If you’re not going to do anything, at least say let evolution take care of itself and weed out the dumbsters who can’t even take advantage of sunshine in places like Florida and Hawaii but have to resort to tanning beds.

Oh, wait. Sorry. I forgot you Bible hugging, creationist dogma chugging Republicans don’t believe in evolution. But find a smarter reason than what you said so you don’t sound so stupid, eh?

But Mike, at least, wasn’t as stupid as Republican Texas State Representative Burt Solomons,  who said it made no sense to ban minors from tanning just like they’re prohibited from buying cigarettes because both are known carcinogens.

Sunshine as a carcinogen! There’s a good one for the anals of science if I’ve ever heard one! It’s a wonder Burt’s not a vampire… at least a literal one. It’s so sad that a wonderful ideal as democracy can be warped so much as to get idiots like these in political offices when evolution should be wiping them out!

So all that being that, I say ban the under-14 crowd and require Parental permission for the under-16 crowd. Make the under-14 get sunshine the natural way with Mother Nature’s regulations, and let the rest be subject to natural evolution that if they were stupid enough to over do their tanning, they can remove themselves from the gene pool for it.

Now, as for this tanning fad, I’ve never been able to understand it ever since I came to Canada as an 8 year old. As a child, things were simple and clear, or just sometimes come through that way, and my observations on the paradox of racism and tanning has never changed since. I saw racism towards coloured people, though was fortunate to experience very little of it. Yet, I kept seeing Caucasian people flaunt their tans that made them temporarily browner, genuinely by sunshine or artificially in a salon, as a status symbol! It confused me, and still befuddles me to this day. The only difference is that I now see that paradox as hypocrisy, regarding

Why is it cool to be brown only for a few weeks at a time?

Now, I live in Canada, where the hypocrisy is only generally seen from Caucasian demographics. In Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and many other countries, though, the coloured people even buy into it so much as to try and be whiter to push the hypocrisy from the coloured demographics. There is skin bleaching going on with creams and other means, to the extent it’s called a phenomenon [Jamaica.com, 2002]. There is also black women trying to marry white men in successive generations to improve the white stock of their skin, as described by Malcolm Gladwell in his personal lineage story as part of his book, Outliers. They do these things despite the Caucasian people around them tanning in their glorious sunshine environment! Yes, so I ask again

Why is it cool to be brown only for a few weeks at a time?

Tell me if you can…

And tell me why white body builders feel like they need to all be brown as well.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.2

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4 thoughts on “Why is it Cool to be Brown Only For a While at a Time?

    • Thank you for your comment but I would challenge the choice of words on “a lot” and what that implies. I would not say “a lot”, even though I don’t have statistics and I know “a lot” is a very subjective term. I would only say it is present. As well, considering the majority of readers of this blog comes from the United States, I would not say “a lot”. I’ve never heard of anything about skin lightening as a matter of concern in America aside from the occasional oddball case like Michael Jackson. “A lot” to me implies there are enough people doing something to be of concern… like indoor sun tanning, even if just among teens.

  1. I am offended by the images you put as cool and not cool…. We as African American women are beautiful in our many shades and it is so sad how society and the media has always perpetuated that being light skinned is more attractive than being dark skinned which is so untrue and now to see this image… You could have found another way to illustrate your point.

    • Thank you for your comment. I have removed the image you found offensive. I did not deem it to be offensive but I can see how taken out of context, either accidentally or maliciously (as in claiming said picture was on my blog without the article), it could be. As you said, there were other ways to illustrate my point so I’ll just leave it to the text. Please do note I agree with you that African American women are beautiful in your many shades and the unfair portrayal by media and society that being light skinned is more attractive than being dark skinned. This post has not been well-read so any “damage done” you might perceive from said image would have been quite minimal. Thanks again for taking the time to give meaningful feedback.

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