Porn Vs. Protection… A Melanoma Warrior Shares Her Thoughts On “Cute” Tans

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By Timna Understein – I came across a story the other day, that has me thinking about how we (not me… and not most who are reading this), as a nation, seem to focus our attention on such strange things, when there are actually important issues, issues of monumental importance, that need our dedication.

What am I talking about?  Why the word porn in the title of this blog post?  Where is this going?

Ok, here… have a look at this picture:

Jilly white_originalIt was posted on Facebook, flagged as pornographic, taken down, and the mother who took this picture was told if she posted it again, her Facebook account would be shut down.

The mother did not see this as sexual, and neither do I!  However, the mother “thought it would be cute because of the old Coppertone ad and how much her tan line looked like that.”

Tan lines? Kids? Cute? HELLO!?!??!?! Therein lies the issue!

The fact is that there are parents out there that don’t know about the sun safety, or choose not to practice it.

There is nothing cute about a tan.  Simply put, here are some facts about getting a tan, which are nothing to smile about:

  • Exposure to UV rays during early childhood is most damaging.
  • Just ONE bad sunburn as a child or in adolescence, more than doubles the chance of developing melanoma.
  • A tan is DNA damage (UV rays harm the skin cells’ DNA)
  • Sun damage can lead to premature aging, eye damage, and melanoma.
  • There is no such thing as a healthy tan.

If only the amount of energy spent on flagging for “porn” where spent on educating the general public about life saving, sun safety information, it seems the message would get out there… loud and clear.

In the meantime, we continue what we do, educating the best we can, hoping that we get the word out and help to save lives.


About The Author

Timna Understein is a melanoma warrior, who has bravely battled this disease twice since 2008 along with a Primary Acquired Melanosis of her left eye in 2012. She is also the WYSK behind Respect The Rays, a melanoma education and awareness movement that targets young people. Read her inspiring story here.

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