The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Why so tan?

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ll probably never be described as having “tanned, bronzed skin.” In fact, I like to describe it as “pasty white.”

Is pasty white skin a bad thing? I’ve never thought so.

But apparently certain cities would disagree with me – as a new study by San Diego State University finds that in some cities, tanning salons outnumber Starbucks and McDonald’s. Really? The urge to fake and bake is stronger than the addictive powers of caffeine. I never would have believed it.

The study looked at 116,000 cities and examined the number and density per 100,000 people of indoor tanning salons.

“Just to put the number into context, we counted the number of Starbucks and McDonalds, two frequently occurring businesses,” Dr. Joni Mayer, professor of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the Graduate School of Public Health in San Diego State University, told MSNBC. “We knew that there were a lot of indoor tanning facilities but we didn’t really know that they would exceed the number of Starbucks and McDonalds in most cases.”

So which cities are the stuff of a tanner’s dream?

• Charleston, West Virginia with 18 salons for approximately 53,000 people.

• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with 93 salons for about 350,000 people.

• Akron, Ohio with 57 salons for around 217,000 people.

• Portland, Maine with 16 salons for a population of 64,250.

• Columbia, South Carolina with 28 salons for about 116,000 people.

More than 1 million people tan in salons on an average day, with about 70 percent being women aged 16 to 29, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

But consider this: the AAD also says studies have shown that exposure to excessive UV radiation during indoor tanning leads to immune suppression, eye damage (including cataracts and ocular melanoma), skin aging, melanomas and carcinomas.

Frankly if you have to tan, you’re better off using self-tanning lotions and spray-on tans.

I’m not going to say that tanning is the root of all evil and that we should ban it completely-but please remember the risks you take while you’re resting under the artificial rays. And be on the lookout for any suspicious moles.

Additionally, if during these hard economic times you feel the need to open up a small business in one of the aforementioned cities, it might be wise to pick something other than a tanning salon. It appears that they’ve already got that covered.

– Meredith Shamburger

News Editor

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