RIP Tanning Industry

I have a dirty secret: I like to lay out in the sun a few times a week. I wash off the sunscreen I applied that morning and let the rays hit my face. 15-20 minutes in the late afternoon sun relaxes me after a hectic day. I don’t eat a lot of fish or drink a lot of milk and that time is probably my primary source of Vitamin D.

But I have never visited a tanning salon in my life. And of my friends who have used tanning salons, most don’t go as often anymore. Some have had weird moles biopsied and two have had a form of skin cancer.  I’ve been the recipient of lectures from both of those women, even though I spend less time in the sun than they spent in the tanning bed.

Having someone in your social circle who has survived skin cancer is far from unique. One in five Americans develop skin cancer over the course of their lifetime. And there seems to be less uniformity in current style icons. Ten years ago it seemed like everyone in the media, from Paris Hilton to the Kardashians to Jennifer Lopez, had the same bronzed skin tone.

However, the current crop of It Girls has a wider range of skin colors. And as the age of skin cancer patients crept down, more young people realized that it was a problem they would have to deal with sooner rather than later. There has also been increased awareness of the harms that come with tanning, and the FDA reclassified the risk category of tanning beds in 2014. So this weekend’s news story about tanning salon owners blaming Obamacare’s 10% tax on their services didn’t ring true for me.

In the past six years, 10,000 of the nation’s 18,000 salons have closed. I have noticed this in my area, with tanning salons either converting to nail salons or closing down completely. Surely a tax that amounts to a mere $7.50 (assuming the customer purchases a monthly package at $75) can’t be blamed for all of those closures. Several years ago, it seemed that salons were popping up within walking distance of one another. A combination of market saturation, increased awareness of risks, and increased self-acceptance by those with pale skin might play a larger role than a tax on services.

Now for some cozy things I liked today:

Long read of the day: In Israel in the 1950s, Mizrahi Jewish children were kidnapped and adopted by European Jewish families. Now some of them are trying to find their birth families.

Cooking video of the day: Pizza Mac and Cheese

Cute pet of the day:


This cat’s name is Fat Ricky


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