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Proud to be pale…

Posted by on June 12, 2007

…and you should be too!

With skin cancer being so prevalent and the media stresses that being tanned/bronze is what is “in.” What’s “hot.” What everyone should strive for. *puke* It’s rare you see those “models” (I use that term lightly) use sunblock. It’s like hidden from view. Not something thought about. Not something stressed. It needs to be out there.

Melanoma is the leading cause of death for women between 25-30. I bet many don’t realize that. I sure didn’t until last year. I’ve heard many people say, “it’s just skin cancer”, “it’s better than another cancer alternative”, etc etc. Uh, I think not. In theory you may believe that but come actual fact it’s wrong. Frig, early detection of breast cancer has better statistics. For instance, with early detection there is 97% cureable/remission rate or whatever it is. It’s only about 3% of early detection cases that are fatal. Most people don’t go to the Dr. or dermatologist for sun spots or suspicious moles because many don’t take it seriously.

Sure, let it go. Get stage 3 or 4 melanoma or metastatic melanoma where you have a 90% fatality rate. How’s that for odds!

I will note though, that for all types of skin cancer combined the fatality rate is 20%.

All you have to do to protect yourself is to lather yourself in sunscreen. How frickin’ hard is that!! Sun screen does not stop you from tanning. You will tan. It’s inevitable if you are constantly in the sun. It just blocks the harmful rays and lessens your chances for cancer. It protects your skin from burning (which has been tied to melanoma). It keeps you looking younger and not like a shriveled up prune when you get old.

Direct sun exposure at a young age is a big part too. So frig, put a hat on your kid, put on their sunscreen and remember to re-apply if needed. It’s not that difficult. I see so many babies and toddlers out and about not wearing hats. It just urks me. Yes, they’ll keep throwing them off or falling off but be persistent. Yes, it’s easier to “turn a blind eye” but you can’t. I certainly can’t and don’t when I’m chasing after your kids at work all day. You are responsible for your children and to protect them until they are able to protect themselves. You will vaccinate your children, not let them play with kids with pink eye, you make them wash their hands, you do all these things to protect them and try to keep them safe. How’s it any different when it comes to sunscreen. It’s not. You need to make the habit for them so when they are at highest risk (adolescence/early adulthood) they will make the smart choices and use sunblock!

It can take years of exposure but all it can take is one bad burn. That’s it.

I won’t even start on people going to tanning beds…(lol). The only thing I’ll say is that people say they go to “get a base tan” so they won’t burn when away or whatever but that has been proven as false. It doesn’t make you repellant to burning. It’s found to have the opposite effect actually. People think they are fine and don’t sun screen as often because of it. Also, even if you aren’t someone who burns and just goes brown…the skin is still getting the damage, you’re just more unaware. So yea, I won’t go into the “base tan” thing but you can research it for yourself and see for yourself that you aren’t doing yourselves any favours. I’ll never understand it.

Please don’t tell me I’m lucky if I have sunburn. Please don’t be envious of others with sunburns. Use sunblock.

I’ve always been ashamed of my pasty, pale, almost glow in the dark skin for a long while. But now I embrace it. I’m being proactive and healthy. Heck, I had one of the best tans of my life last summer and I was caked in sunblock. This year is going the same I think. Always wearing sunblock and I’m tanning.

Read this blog about one woman’s struggles with Melanoma over the past while. She was my age when diagnosed and just lost her battle today. 🙁 She was such a force and had such a fierce love of life. She had more strength then I could fathom. I suggest going to her blog and taking a read, seeing the after effects from surgeries. It’s an eye opener. It’s filled with so much knowledge and realness. It made me step back and think. She was quite the inspiration.

I don’t know if people read my links on the side because there are other ones there but I really think every one (esp. women) need to read. Sarah’s blog

*Steps down off of soapbox* 😉

Moral of the story: Being pale is ok. It’s perfect!

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