Sun Bathing on Ocean Parkway

Sun Bathing on Ocean Parkway

Casual sun bathing has moderate health benefits such as the production of vitamin D by the body. Excessive sun bathing has detrimental health effects including sunburn and possibly skin cancer. There is debate among scientists on whether the benefits outweigh the risks associated with tanning. However, the use of tanning beds and other sun lamps are documented to be a human carcinogen. They emit about 12 times more radiation than the sun and have recently been categorized in the "highest cancer risk" by the FDA. But, this hasn't stopped people from visiting tanning salons, because projection an image of health and attraction is more important for some than actually being healthy.

In many cultures human skin color has been an indicator of social status. Tanning has gone in and out of fashion through the ages. In the West, until the 1920's, tanned skin was associated with outdoor work and lower classes. After the mid 20th Century, this image was inverted, and tanned skin is now associated with athleticism and leisure time, while lighter skin represents introversion and indoor office work. Confusing!

Song of the Day: Melting In The Sun - INXS (1984)
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