I believe that tanning beds are not the answer to being beautiful

Anna - Cataula, Georgia
Entered on May 19, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that people should accept themselves for who they are and should stop worrying over what other people think of them. They think that by going to the tanning beds will make them more beautiful. I have a news flash for that person, which is that tanning beds do cause skin cancer. Commercials about how tanning beds provide a base tan for people who are about to go to the beach, these statements are all lies. I know for a fact that they are lying because my mother got skin cancer from the tanning beds.

Tanning beds came out in the early 80’s claiming that going in it would make the person tanner especially for those who were fair skinned. My mother is fair skinned with red hair and thought that by going to the tanning bed she could get rid of her paleness. They told her that by putting on this special lotion and sitting in the bed that she would get a base tan. Although she only went for a couple of months, it still affected her in the future. When she was five months pregnant with my brother she had a mole removed from the back of her leg. The result came back stating that the mole was melanoma. To not risk losing the baby she waited until she was eight months pregnant to have surgery to burn out more layers of skin around the area. During the surgery my mother stayed awake and had to smell the flesh being burned and was not given pain medicine in fear that it would hurt the baby.

Today my mother has a scar on her leg that reminds both of us what the effects of tanning beds can have on people. Every six months she has to go get a full body exam at the doctors to make sure there are no more moles that can be cancerous. Since her surgery she has had more than ten moles removed that looked dangerous to the doctors. All of them have come back negative for cancer so far. She takes all the precautions serious because she does not want to have to go through that experience again and neither do I.

I am also fair skinned like my mother and have learned to deal with being pale. Although I am nicknamed “Casper”, I do not take offense to it because I have learned that each time someone goes to the tanning bed they increase the risk of getting melanoma by 15 percent. I am at a high risk of getting skin cancer but I will not let it get higher by trying to be someone I am not. So I believe that by being true to oneself is all that matters and it does not matter what others think.