Tanning: the impact of reality beauty shows on youngsters

According to a study published on the American Academy of Dermatology, college students who watch reality beauty shows are more likely to use tanning lamps or outdoor tanning then non viewers.

The objective of the research was to find out how media could influence the behaviour of reality shows followers. Although the programs were not directly advertising tanning, the fact that TV personalities are sporting a tan is more than enough to draw the public's attention on that particular subject.

No matter if tanning has been related to a higher risk of developing skin cancer, young people don't seem to take it into account, as they are more interested in looking like their favourite celebrity than leading a healthy lifestyle. As more and more youngster are hooked on reality shows promoting beauty as the only source of success in life, no wonder that tanning has become a priority in our society.

The data of the U.S. study are quite alarming: 13 percent of students who watched TV beauty shows used tanning lamps, against 3.7 percent of non-viewers and a staggering 43 percent tanned outdoors compared to 29 percent of the non-watchers. Age and gender were also two important factors taken into consideration: young women were ten times more likely to use tanning equipment than men.

The media and celebrities have the power to send very influential messages to youngsters and right now the message they send is to extensively focus on beauty and appearance. Going to a salon for a tan is the norm in such TV programs, so young people, who often idolize TV personalities because of their status, go and get tanned.

As more and more people get diagnosed with skin cancer, perhaps it's time for a reality show about the risks of certain beauty regimes.

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