moldybluecheesecurds 2

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Skin care: do you like deck stain?

In my family, pale Polish skin - and a history of skin cancer - dominates my mom's side of the family, while moderately darker German genes offer some protection on my dad's side. I'm my mother's son, sadly, which means sunscreen is a constant summer companion. It also means that I read news on tanning with some personal interest.

This article, from today's New York Times, explores the continuing fashion of tan and the debate among dermatologists about recommending sunless tanning products - like bronzers - versus trying to change the idealized image of a tan body. This academic certainly has a way with words:

Nina Jablonski, the chairwoman of the anthropology department at Penn State University, said that trying to change one’s skin color is a peculiar and disturbing phenomenon — whether it be Africans and Asians who use bleaching products to lighten skin or lighter-pigmented Americans seeking to emulate deck stain. Along that continuum, the sun-tanned look is a relatively new beauty ideal, she said.

“For most of the last 500 years, a tan was considered the mark of a hard-working person who toiled outside,” said Dr. Jablonski, the author of “Skin: A Natural History.” “A tan was eschewed by people who considered themselves upper class.”

While my family's history of skin cancers merits a little extra caution and I have no desire to "emulate deck stain," it's always nice to moderate my native shade of beached whale white.

1 comment:

bbthunder said...

So that's why you put in a new deck. "Oh whoops, I got some deck stain all over my body!"