Updated: Jun 27, 2020
by Steven W Rodgers
I'm sure you've all heard someone say "I'm going to work on my tan!" I can't help but wonder what exactly they are "working" on. It seems to me that such labor generally consists of lying on the beach, and, perhaps less often, sitting or squatting, but it all pretty much amounts to the same inactivity that inflicts a large percentage of tan seekers. It's always amazed me, anyway, how society places such importance on skin color. Over the years, it has changed, of course. A century ago, young white women in polite society, carried around parasols in sunny weather, to prevent their skin from becoming dark or freckled. These days, much to their detriment, it has become fashionable to soak up the rays and become dark. In the movie "The Talented Mr. Ripley," the very tanned Jude Law, upon seeing the very UNtanned Matt Damon, remarked disparagingly..."You are sooooo white!" It was not a compliment. Unfortunately, the societal pendulum which has swung in a decidedly darker direction does not bode will for tan seekers. Note to sun worshippers everywhere: skin becomes dark under the sun's rays as a negative reaction to being poisoned by the ultraviolet rays of the sun! People! This is not a good thing! One of the supreme ironies of life is that all those things that we need to survive (such as the sun) also kill us! The sun is not something it's particularly wise to expose your skin to. It can lead to all kinds of radiation poisoning that wrinkles the skin, causes cancer, and decreases longevity. The next time you are tempted to lie in the sun and get a tan, spend eight bucks, get an umbrella, and shade yourself from the celestial orb which is doing its utmost to shorten your time on planet Earth.