Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pale Is In...Fake Tan Is In...Are Celebrities Encouraging Us to Stay Out of the Sun?

I was talking to my friend Elana today. Like me, she heard that the UV Index was 5 and dove for the sunscreen. We both have fabulous, sensitive skin that we protect from the sun. She said, "pale skin is pretty in these days..." After a quick mental inventory of what I've been seeing on E! News, I totally agree.

Back when I was preparing for prom in the mid to late 90s, a trip to the tanning salon was definitely in order. And according to recent news stories like "Keeping Teens Out of Tanning Beds", this is still a public health problem. However, I would venture to say that our celebrity role models are focusing less and less on baking in the sun. The two trends that I see from celebrities on the red carpet are pale skin and sunless "fake" tans. Both of which appear to be much less harmful than the old fashioned baby oil and tanning scenario!

One trend that has been picking up momentum the past few years is the fake tan. My girl Giuliana Rancic seems to "glow" each evening on E! News and on her reality show "Giuliana & Bill". She has said, "I can't live without my bi-monthly St. Tropez skin-finishing appointment". We also see this "glow" on celebrities like Jennifer Lopez. The other trend we've been seeing more and more of (which I'm really excited about) is the natural pale skin. And they aren't afraid of pairing that skin with blush colored dresses! We saw that with Anna Kendrick at the Oscars and Dakota Fanning at the Runaways premiere. I'm especially happy to see this trend with these younger actresses, since we know that teenagers and other individuals learn by observing the behavior of others (see: Social Learning Theory).

I always hear about how celebrities (insert Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan here) are terrible role models with their drinking and partying. We hear about their broken relationships and smoking and bad fashion. But in this one area, I will defend them. I think they are openly promoting alternatives to outdoor tanning and tanning beds. Since tanning can lead to skin cancer, I think this is a great step in health promotion. Fake sunless tans are in...and beautiful pale skin is definitely in. So grab that SPF 60 ladies! We are on trend!

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