The Evolution of Skin Tanning Essay

The Evolution of Skin Tanning Essay

Length: 826 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Evolution of Skin Tanning


One of Catherine’s insatiable obsessions in Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden is to darken her skin color. She accomplishes this by sun tanning at every opportunity possible, and naturally, her skin turns many shades darker. Catherine’s skin tanning fixation at the time the story takes place coincides with the premiere of skin tanning as a stylish and chic fashionable pursuit.

Traditionally, tanned skin was undesirable to the public. Prior to the industrial revolution, most manual labor was done outside under the sun where such constant exposure resulted in darker skin. Consequently, because manual labor was a staple of the lower classes, tanned skinned also became associated with the destitute and unprosperous (BBC). Not only was dark skin undesirable, but people craved for pale skin. The relaxed elite wanted to show that they stayed indoors because of the needlessness to be outside in the sun doing any type of work of their own. Thus, pale skin became linked with the wealthy and high class (The Tanning Taboo). This lead to practices by the elite such as covering most of their body when they went swimming and carrying around parasols to shade themselves from the sun (Sun and Clouds). The desire for paleness dates all the way back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who would use lead paints and chalk to make their faces white and colorless as possible (Tanning). In 18th century France and Elizabethan England, royalty would go to such lengths as powdering their faces with toxins to get a pale hue on their faces (The Tanning Taboo). Until the 20th century, nobody desired bronzed skin in Europe or America.

A few events lead to the change in the public’s feelings toward tanned ski...


... middle of paper ...


...f Tanning” California Tan Heliotherapy. 14 November 2002.

http://www.californiatan.com/tanbasic/history_of_tan.ehtm

- A website about tanning history from the 1920s to present.



Rutherford, Kim. “The Tanning Taboo” September 2001. The Nemours Foundation. 14 November 2002. <http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/safebasics/tanning.html>

- The Nemours Foundation’s site aimed at informing kids about sun safety.



“Sun and Clouds - The Sun in History” The Chemical Heritage Foundation. 14 November 2002. http://www.chemheritage.org/EducationalServices/pharm/chemo/readings/tsih.htm>

- The Chemical Heritage Foundation’s site about the human/sun relationship.



“Tanning” Cool Nurse. 14 November 2002. < http://www.coolnurse.com/tanning.htm>

‑ The Cool Nurse website about safe tanning that also reveals the development of the tan.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Tanning Salons Are Become Increasingly Popular, Particularly Among Young White Women

- 1. Tanning salons have become increasingly popular, particularly among young white women. a) In 2-3 sentences, explain how the use of tanning salons leads to a darkening of skin. b) What are two specific long-term risks of using tanning salons. a) Tanning beds in tanning salons produce UV light/rays, which hits skin and produces melanin, thus making skin to appear to be darker. Melanin exists to absorb UV light to prevent damage to DNA and protect from cancer. Melanin is produced by a melanocyte and is taken up by the skin’s keratinocytes....   [tags: Cancer, Oncology, Squamous cell carcinoma]

Better Essays
1144 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Melanoma Skin Cancer

- The largest organ of the human body is your skin. It is your body’s first line of defense against infections, injuries, heat, and sunlight. It also helps in controlling the temperature of your body and getting rid of the excess water and salt by sweating it out. Skin cancer is also known as cancer of the sun. Excessive amounts of ultra violet lights affect your skin in negative ways, possibly leading to Melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer there is and can often times be fatal (McClay)....   [tags: Health ]

Better Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

Negative Effects of Tanning Beds on the Skin Essay

- Many people in the United States use tanning beds every day. However, tanning has many negative effects on the skin, and can even cause cancer. Tanning beds are devices that use fluorescent lamps that emit UV rays to produce a skin tan. Most people tan because they are concerned about their appearance. People want to be considered beautiful by others and to have more pleasant features. The stereotypical good looking person in our society is usually a thin female or muscularly built male with nice hair and tan skin....   [tags: Human Health / Skin Disease]

Better Essays
1337 words (3.8 pages)

The Risks of Tanning Essay examples

- Self image is an important thing to many people, but is it worth all the risks. In the year 2012, 8,650 died of melanoma cancer, every person that has or have used an indoor tanning bed is at a 74% higher risk of getting melanoma than those who have never tanned before (“Skin Cancer Foundation”). Tanning beds were actually accidentally invented; they were first made to give more vitamin D to people who could not get enough by being outside. This lamp, which was used to help the people who needed vitamin D, soon became something used mainly for boosting peoples thoughts on their own self appearance....   [tags: Tanning and Cancer]

Better Essays
1807 words (5.2 pages)

The Effect of Tanning Beds on the American Society Essay

- The Effect of Tanning Beds on the American Society Have you ever seen commercials on television advertising allergy medications. The advertisement states that taking the medication can cause abnormal sleep patterns, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, itching, watery eyes, rashes, and headaches. A conclusion could be made that the side effects of the product would be much worse than the allergy problem....   [tags: Skin Cancer Tanning]

Free Essays
1308 words (3.7 pages)

Risk Factors For Melanoma Skin Cancer Essay

- According to recent statistics by the Mayo Clinic, in the past 40 years melanoma rates have increased by 800 percent among young females and by 400 percent among young males’ ages 18-39 years old ( put your reference ). It is a known fact that one in six American at some point in their life will develop skin cancer. In 2009 alone 11,790 individuals died of skin cancer, of which 8700 of them were from malignant melanoma (Buttaro, Trybulski, Bailey, Sandberg-Cook, 2013). Background Melanoma, often referred to as malignant melanoma is the most severe type of skin cancer....   [tags: Ultraviolet, Sunscreen, Sun tanning, Skin cancer]

Better Essays
1050 words (3 pages)

The Evolution of Human Skin Color Essay

- According to Darwin and his theory on evolution, organisms are presented with nature’s challenge of environmental change. Those that possess the characteristics of adapting to such challenges are successful in leaving their genes behind and ensuring that their lineage will continue. It is natural selection, where nature can perform tiny to mass sporadic experiments on its organisms, and the results can be interesting from extinction to significant changes within a species. Human beings are no exception to biological evolution....   [tags: Human Evolution, 2015]

Better Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)

Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer Essay

- Tanning Beds and Skin Cancer What is UV radiation. Before one can discuss harmful effects of tanning equipment and increased sun exposure, one must be familiar with the components of ultraviolet light and how affects the skin. Sunlight contains two types of ultraviolet (UV) light: UVA and UVB. UVA rays consist of longer wavelengths that penetrate deep into the dermal layer of skin. Limited exposure to UVA rays causes skin to tan; however, most experts agree that overexposure to UVA can lead to other long-term skin damage....   [tags: Medical Medicine Papers]

Better Essays
3239 words (9.3 pages)

Tanning Crisis Essay

- Every day millions of women and men interrupt their daily lives and visit tanning beds in order to achieve new levels of darkness. The darkness of this practice goes further than merely skin deep when the risks of tanning are considered. Indoor tanning is a fad that has heavily caught on in recent years. Indoor tanning has made it possible for anyone to catch those rejuvenating rays without having to be on the beach during their once a year vacation. It is easy to start and to continue to tan because it is fast and feels great....   [tags: Social Issues, Skin Cancer]

Better Essays
1363 words (3.9 pages)

Artificial Tanning Essay

- Artificial Tanning Jim Rice loved the way tanning made him look and feel, that is, until he became personally affected by the dangers that came with the frivolous glitz and glamour of a nice tan. Artificial tanning has become a sub-culture for youths across the nation. Those who do not go tanning are a minority and those who do tan ignore the health risks posted in every tanning booth and bed in the state of Massachusetts. However, for Jim Rice, a middler chemical engineering major at Northeastern University, the health risks of tanning transformed into a frightening reality....   [tags: Skin Cancer Culture Papers]

Better Essays
2272 words (6.5 pages)